50.1060° N, 5.5490° W
Newlyn, Cornwall’s fishing capital
You can hardly go much further west. The fishing port of Newlyn sits in the lee of Land’s End, with the fishing grounds of the Channel and the western approaches on its doorstep. Newlyn has a reputation for wild weather and big fishing, and is home to a fleet of beam trawlers, stern trawlers, potting boats and ring-netters, as well as the netting fleet that pursues high-quality hake, pollock, turbot and monkfish across fishing grounds from deep south of Ireland to far out into the Channel.
Like most fishing ports, Newlyn has seen changes as its traditional fishery for pilchards declined, while the trawler fleet with its less seasonal year-round fishery became more prominent in the port’s activities. In the meantime, the pilchard fishery returned, supporting a small fleet of ring-netters fishing off the South-West.
Newlyn has one of the three main fish auctions in the South-West of England, which has recently been extensively renewed, with the building renovated and its facilities upgraded to include a sophisticated temperature control system to maintain the cold chain throughout the process.
The port is home to a variety of suppliers, including fishing gear and engineering companies, a slipway operated by the port authority, a venture recycling used fishing gear into high-quality filaments, and a variety of processing and wholesale companies that rely on landings made to port. As well as looking after its own fleet, Newlyn is also an important landing point for fishing vessels from other parts of the country and abroad, with Scottish prawn trawlers using it as a base for part of the year and both Belgian and French trawlers calling there to offload catches and to seek other services.
Newlyn is a colourful place, with a lively reputation as a destination for holidaymakers during the summer months, not least in early August when the Newlyn Fish Festival attracts many visitors to take part in its annual celebration of everything connected with the fishing and the seafood that Cornwall enjoys.