St Ives has received a third fish crane for its harbour, thanks to funding from the St Ives Town Deal Accelerator.
The harbour already has two fish cranes, also known as davits, but they were not enough to meet the demand of the growing fleet. With 36 commercial fishing boats now registered in the town, crews could face a long wait to unload their catches at peak times. It also left the harbour with only one working crane when the second one needed maintenance or developed a fault.
The installation of the crane was completed at the end of March, and it became operational at the beginning of May once all the licences were in place.
The project was a community effort, with local suppliers and contractors involved in carrying out the ground works and installing the wiring, with Penryn-based firm Spencer Carter providing the crane.
“Fishing is very important in a town like St Ives,” said Nathan de Rozarieux, from St Ives Fisherman’s Association. “As well as directly employing the people who catch, process and sell the fish, it also supports the tourism and retail economies, attracting visitors who love to come and watch fishing taking place and then spend time and money in the town.
“When the Town Deal programme was first being discussed we asked our members for their views on potential projects which could benefit the fishing community. A third fish crane was top of their list and we were delighted when the St Ives Town Deal Board agreed to award £23k of Accelerator funding towards the costs of the project.”
As well as providing a third crane, the St Ives fishing project also included improvements to the fish handling and storage facilities and other works. Having been awarded Accelerator funding for the new crane, the fishing community worked hard to secure the additional funding needed to complete the £50k project.
“The third crane is already making a huge difference,” said Ben Lawlor, St Ives Harbour Master. “Local boats can spend up to 12 hours at sea during the main mackerel season. With many of the boats then returning at the same time, having only the two cranes meant tired crews having to wait long periods to unload their catches before being able to go home.
“By increasing capacity, the additional crane has significantly reduced this waiting time. As St Ives is a tidal harbour, the location of the crane closer to the entrance of the harbour also means that boats no longer have to wait for the tide to come in to access the quayside to unload their fish.”