Since Britain joined the European Economic Community in the mid-1970s, the fishing industry along our coasts has been under pressure from overfishing. Mike Smylie takes us on a tour of England's North Sea coast, taking the reader to harbours that you could once walk over on the hundreds of fishing boats, and to east coast beaches and rivers that boasted their own fishing fleets.
Each area of the coast had its unique boats, built for local conditions, as well as methods of catching the fish. From North Foreland on Kent's Isle of Thanet to the River Tweed, Mike Smylie shows us the fishermen and women on shore and at sea, their boats, and the harbours, and tells us of the methods used to catch fish. He also documents the changes in and decline of the industry, from the times when it employed hundreds of thousands of working people.
Mike Smylie is a regular sight at fishing festivals in Britain and Europe, smoking herring and talking about fishing boats. He is the acknowledged expert on British traditional fishing boats. He is the author of thirteen published books and the co-founder of the 40+ Fishing Boat Association which was founded in 1995 against the background of the scrapping of decommissioned fishing vessels. He is the editor of their thrice yearly magazine entitle Fishing Boats. He is acknowledged as one of the experts on Britain's fishing industry and has been interviewed on both television and radio about the subject. He lives in Bristol.