On Tuesday 7th January 2020 a new OU/BBC TV series ‘Cornwall: This Fishing Life’ will be shown on BBC2 at 8pm.
This six-part series follows the fortunes of a new generation of young Cornish fishermen as they fight to secure a future for their traditional way of life at a time of enormous change.
Predatory French and Spanish boats fish in Cornish waters hoovering up dwindling fish stocks; in the UK, huge business interests now control the lion's share of the fishing quota, crowding out the smaller boats, and young people are drifting away from the industry as the start-up costs are too high and the profit margins too small.
Fishermen say that this ancient way of life, that has fed our nation and sustained our coastal communities for generations, is in grave danger of disappearing, as owners sell their boats and their kids move away to look for work, leaving Cornwall to the wealthy second-homers that leave at the end of summer.
While other series have been made about the fishing industry, the focus has been on the men at sea, the danger, the storms and the 'real work'. We will explore the lives of whole communities that rely on the sea for their livelihoods. Life in a Cornish fishing village is something many people aspire to, but Cornwall is one of the poorest regions in Europe, with poverty levels akin to Hungary and Lithuania.
This series was commissioned by Broadcast and Partnerships and is supported by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The OU Nominated Academics are Prof David Humphreys, Dr Vicky Johnson & Dr Shonil Bhagwat. The Media Fellows is Dr Alison Penn.
Find out more about find out more about the UK’s fishing industry and how it’s changing on OpenLearn. Visit Fishing Life on OpenLearn. (please note the website may not be live until transmission)