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The storms of December 2013 and January 2014

The worst weather in years is still buffeting our coast as I write this on January 14. What with storm surges, hurricane force winds and endless heavy rain, I feel at times this is what it will be like as the world ends!

In Lyme Regis harbour, as with all fishing towns and villages round the coast of Britain, none of our crab and lobster fishermen have been able to go to sea for weeks, as this bad weather has dominated life for small inshore boats.

Waves over the CobbThe huge seas have forced lobster and crab pots to move from where they were carefully 'shot' on rocky ground. Once they start moving in heavy seas, more often than not, they keep moving, and in many cases will be lost forever. When this weather finally stops, crab fishermen will be putting to sea full of hope they will come across their gear, but much of it will have moved at least a mile from where they left it. If the marker buoys have been pulled down below the surface, the string of pots is as good as lost.                  Photo courtesy of Richard Austin

In this area crab pots are laid in strings of three, four or five and I would estimate the value of a string of three, including rope and marker buoy, would be about £180. When you realise most crabbers have at least 150 pots there’s a lot of value out there.

Lyme Regis mackerel fishing trips have all but finished for the season, Lyme Regis deep sea fishing trips have been forced to stop because of the weather and Harry May boat trips will resume in late March 2014.

Published on 06/01/2014.

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