The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business

Cornish ferry to France would help fishing

- By Louis Ashworth

CAMPAIGNER­S in Cornwall are aiming to forge a direct cargo link to France to help the fishing fleet recover from postbrexit trade disruption.

A “game-changing” ferry between Falmouth on the Cornish south coast and Roscoff in Brittany “could prevent the collapse of these parts of our fishing industry in Cornwall”, according to councillor Tim Dwelly.

Since January, an EU ban on live imports of mussels and other bivalve molluscs has created significan­t disruption, with lorry loads of living sea creatures ending up caught in customs.

Fishermen have been forced to purify their catches before transporta­tion, reducing their shelf life. Before Brexit, this process of “depurinati­on” could occur at the goods’ destinatio­n.

But at a meeting last month, Brittany’s regional council president, Loïg Chesnais-girard, proposed a new ferry connection that would speed up the transport by avoiding more distant ports at Portsmouth and Dover. Cornwall council is now conducting a feasibilit­y study. Martin Laity, who runs Sailor’s Creek Shellfish in Flushing, near Falmouth, said a ferry could open up new markets for his products.

“I think it should be looked at and the British Government should start taking it seriously,” he said.

Cornwall and Brittany have a connection going back thousands of years, with many Celts travelling from England’s South West to the French province.

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