The Fishermans Apprentice BBC2 Wednesdays

I sincerely hope that you are watching this fantastic show broadcast on BBC 2 presented by the very likeable Monty Halls.

His mission to live life as a Cornish inshore fisherman certainly has me “hooked” if you pardon the pun. It is easy for me to love this program as I love fish and I love Cornwall having spent many a summer holiday down there, but I see a program with greater depth than a jazzed up tourist promo.

There has been some very insightful moments that clearly demonstrate the struggle that these fisherman face on a daily basis just to survive Britain’s most dangerous job,  and  it clearly shows to me why we should value not only the fantastic fish that these men catch but the life that they lead. Isn’t it just the antithesis of the way that most of us live our lives? There is without doubt a part of me that hankers after that simple but rewarding life.

It has also offered a great look into some of the issues surrounding the fishing industry and fish in general. Last nights show, for example, was highlighting the fact that in Britain we do not eat Spider Crab despite the fact that it is native to our waters and caught in large numbers. It showed large viviers of live Spiders being despatched to Brittany where the people view them as a great delicacy.

I have to confess to never having tried it but the message that came from the show was that it was even tastier than edible brown crab. So why don’t we eat it? I do not buy into Monty’s argument that it looks scary, because when packed in the same way as edible brown crab it makes no difference. I do think that it is because other regions such as the Bretagne’s value it much more highly we simply do not get the chance to try it at a sensible price.

The program stated that over 95% of the Spiders caught in the UK go abroad. Well its no wonder we don’t get a look in! But this is nothing new. Large percentages of our national catch gets sent abroad for other nations to enjoy.

Why?

Well for an Island nation we do not seem to value seafood in the same way we value meat. The weekly spend on meat is massively higher than that of fish.

I am not sure that if I got some whole spider crabs in that any one would buy them and I cannot afford to stock expensive items like that on a whim these days so it’s a bit of a “catch 22” situation.

Whatever the answers to the questions raised it is still a fantastic program that is teaching me  a lot about my industry. It is also making look longingly at the calendar to those two weeks in August when I can get down to Cornwall and perhaps do a bit of crabing off Padstow harbour. Will I catch a  3 kilo brown crab? Unlikley.

See ya.

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