Robin of Ladram is in demand. As well as the usual fishing activities, skipper Paul de Groote and his crew are called on to spend part of their working year carrying out guard work, in which they operate in support of the cable-laying ships that place and maintain the networks of cables that stretch across the Channel. This is an occasional departure from their usual week-long fishing trips, trawling for groundfish in traditional South-West fishing grounds and landing catches to the auction in Brixham.

‘The preparation for guard work is taking off the fishing gear and dealing with the paperwork, and when we’re back we just need to pick up the trawl gear and fish boxes for the trip, and we’re ready to go. It gives us the best of both, we have to be versatile and swapping roles gives us more opportunities,’ said Paul de Groote, who took over Robin of Ladram after running one of the older trawlers in the company’s fleet.The increasingly important cuttlefish are a key target species for Robin of Ladram, starting in early autumn and carrying on right through to the spring.

‘We have had some exceptional years for cuttlefish, and poorer seasons in between. But that’s the way fishing is. It always goes in cycles,‘ he said.

Cuttlefish is also important as they are outside the quota system, so time spent fishing for Brixham’s Black Gold relieves the pressure on the other important species that are under quota management; mainly sole, plaice, turbot and brill, as well as the other species to be found in South-West waters.

Built in 1990 to operate under the German flag in the North Sea, Robin of Ladram is no newcomer to Brixham, and joined the UK fleet as Amber J in 2011. When its original operating company became part of Waterdance, the 23.98 metre beam trawler, built at Maaskant Shipyards in Holland, was renamed Robin of Ladram.


Method: Beam Trawler
Call Sign: 2EQU2
Registered Port: Brixham
Home Port: Brixham
Port Letters: BM1101
Overall Length: 23.98m
Breadth: 7.01
Year Of Build: 1990
Country Of Build: Netherlands
Date Into Service: 16/06/2011
Crew Size: 6
Area Fished: Area 7 / SW Approaches
Fish Caught: Dover Sole, Plaice, Monkfish, Gurnard, Ray, Pout, Cuttlefish. other mixed fish