Fishy business: research on Cornwall’s inshore fisheries

Two relatively recent articles on the Cornish inshore fisheries and the men employed in them are reviewed here. The first looks at access to healthcare and identifies the constraints facing ‘fishers’. The second contrasts the Cornish inshore fisheries with the coastal fisheries of Tuscany. It identifies the strategies employed by the small-scale fishing sector in the face of structural change in EU fishing policy and the UK administration of it. Direct-selling and diversification are cited as possible strategies to sustain these traditional fisheries.

Mevagissey harbour

On a wider note, it’s interesting that there’s a steady flow of academic articles addressing the fishing industry, despite its small size and limited current role in the Cornish economy. We await articles on the healthcare issues of supermarket workers, the problems faced by the workforce of fast-food outlets or call centres, or the sustainability of shopkeepers in Cornwall’s market towns. It’s good that Cornish fishing is receiving continuing attention. But are the more numerous workers in other sectors being inadvertently ignored in the academic fascination with a ‘traditional’ Cornish industry that is intrinsically bound up with ideological constructs of Cornwall?