History

Pembrokeshire’s exposed position in Wales with the sea on three sides, strong tides and openness to Atlantic weather systems has created a rich marine environment. This has created the opportunity for the fishing industry to make a living working from small harbours and inlets around the coast. The natural restrictions of weather and tide have assisted in insuring the sustainability of stocks which fishermen depend on.

Over the previous 50 years the fishing industry in Pembrokeshire has gone through many transitions. Initially the majority of boats were large and engaged in trawling and drifting, but following the UK entering the European union and the formation of the common fisheries policy which brought the introduction of quotas and restrictions on species, along with  more modern and effective multinational fishing vessels fishing in UK waters, which local boats where unable to compete with the Welsh trawling sector collapsed.

In the early eighties the Pembrokeshire fishing industry received a change of fate with markets for live shellfish such as Lobsters, Brown Crab, Spider Crab, Velvet Crab and Cray Fish opening up, and vivier lorries visiting regularly to land high quality shellfish direct to export markets on the continent, this created a new chapter for Pembrokeshire.

This was later boosted with markets for Bass developing which were now attracting a premier price

The mid nineties further opportunities as far eastern markets opened up for Whelks which are found in abundance of the Pembrokeshire coast

Pembrokeshire is lucky to have such high value species found off our coast and today the fishing industry concentrates on landing quality not quantity from small boats, which are mostly under ten metres and kept moored close to where fishing takes place.

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