South Devon and Channel Shell fishermen



South Devon and Channel Shellfishermen was formed 40 years ago. It is probably the largest shell fishermenís association in the UK.  Its Chairman is Bruce Bennett, a retired skipper/owner.

The Association has approximately 100 members, about eighty boats with about two hundred and fifty crew members.  The Association originated in South Devon where most of its  members come from, but it also has members as far afield as Newlyn in Cornwall, Mudiford in Hampshire and Guernsey in the Channel Islands.  It also has one member from Scotland.

Members operate from three types of boat - the inshore boat, the Channel day boat and the vivier boat.  The vivier boats work all around the UK, from mid-Channel to the Pappa Banks off Shetland. The Association has seven of the most sophisticated crabbers in Europe. 

Modern crabbing methods were developed  by the South Devon industry. Boats from South Devon developed the Channel fishery, the North Sea fishery and the offshore Scottish fishery  (where, in addition to the Associationís Scottish member, some boats are now permanently based).  In more recent years, several boats have started to exploit the whelk fishery, particularly in the quieter winter months - although three of the larger boats are now fishing full time on whelks in the North Sea and off  Wales.

The total value of members catches is in the region of £12m of which over half is generated by vessels whose home base is South Devon.  The majority of the catch goes for export to the Continent.

South Devon and Channel Shellfishermen

Chris Venmore

Tel/Fax: 01548 580446

Mob: 07967 480802