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tv   We Are England  BBC News  February 24, 2022 1:30am-2:01am GMT

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yeah, the winds gone now. not a lot of wind, so we'll only work two dredges for the minute. we've had more bad years than good years. it's just a different problem, every different day, so... i won't be going if we can't get a living. you know, just ticking over is no good. january 2021, it stopped dead. i think the fishermen were promised the unpromiseable. if we lost the export markets, then the fishery would be under serious, serious trouble. worst—case scenario is we stop the business, we stop buying. two or three things go wrong, the whole show can collapse.
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to see our oyster fishery collapse, it would be devastating. we'll put the big jib up now because there's just not enough wind. yeah, that's cool. so i'll give you a hand to do that. make sure there's no twist in it. my name is les angel. all right. i'm an oyster fisherman in the fal. half hitch. i was about 15, i suppose, when i started fishing. my great—grandfather was
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an oyster fisherman in the fal. yeah, that's one of our native oysters, one of our good oysters. that'll be all right for london. £2, £3 for an oyster like that. cheap. too cheap. it's a good life, but it's not easy. otherjobs are a lot easier than oystering. you know, you're working nonstop for six hours. no dredges over the side until nine o'clock and all dredges must be in by three o'clock. six hours is long enough when you're pulling dredges. for me, anyhow. a lot of oystermen sufferfrom bad backs, from pulling and bending over.
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it soon loses its romantic bit. tip that over, will you? we get some good days and bad days, you know. if you can stick the bad days, the good days are a bonus. lots of people can't stand the bad days. there's one of our queens. queen scallops, mainly all these go to france, you know, which is a shame, really, because they're nice to eat. but, uh, that's the problem. french and europeans like all the fish. the british don't like fish. only fish and chips. cod and chips, innit? as long as you get a day's pay, i'm happy. sometimes, we do very well.
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not that often lately. that's the way it goes. we bring it in every six months, so we can do all the maintenance on it. these stanchions aren't looking too bad, are they? no, looking all right, dan. you go in on the spring tide. as you come in, you put your legs down, bolt them in. put your ropes up. make sure they're all level and she'll sit on the beach. i'm dan angel, i'm an oyster fisherman from falmouth.
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got a dust pan here, have we? eh? got a dust pan? what's that? i said have we got... i've found it, it doesn't matter. yeah, we get on all right. les laughs we fight a bit. all kiss and make up, you know what it's like. les is always right. i'm always wrong. put it that way. we have a bit of a ding—dong, but nothing too bad. he only went over the side once. we have good days and bad days! just like the fishing. sometimes he wants to go one way. sometimes i want to go the other way. some people can't get a living
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at it now, especially when you only work for six months and you've got to find another job. the beach is full up now. you can't get on here for boats. fewer people are going oystering and theyjust leave them on the beach and hope they don't rot out. after christmas, when brexit came in, they changed the rules. so that affected us, stopped us fishing for two months. this is the first year i haven't been out in january or february. yeah, basically stopped completely.
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i've been selling into france for 34 years, built some fantastic relationships with customers. one day, i was doing a personal delivery to a customer and he pulls out a black book and he said, "this is my grandfather's black purchase oyster book," showed me the page and it was my great—grandfather's name on the book in 1908. my great—grandfather sold oysters to his grandfather, so that was just incredible. my name is martin laity, and i live in a small fishing village in cornwall called flushing. and i'm an oyster and shellfish merchant. it's a greatjob. yeah, it's very different to
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anything else in the country. when the season kicks off, you've got this feeling that you really don't know what it's going to bring. it's completely wild fishery. you have to just take what mother nature gives you. we are in an era now where sustainability and stuff is like the buzzword, but, you know, we've been living and breathing this for generations, you know? i walk down through the street in my own village and, you know, get all the old people coming up to me saying, "how are the boys getting on with the season this year?" you tell them, "yeah, they're not doing too bad." "yeah, a lot of oysters, lot more queens than last year." "0h, more queens again, yeah, going to have to have some of them." and i'll say to them, "yeah, i'll drop you down a feed," you know? and it's, yeah, it'sjust great.
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it's intertwined in the network of the community, for sure. we make a pretty good team, really. he's 18 years myjunior. so, you know, it's his turn now to throw the bags around. i've done my bit. so it's good. every day is a busy day here. start early, work hard, finish late. try and get all the little jobs done in between. i've been on the phone chasing parcels, doing accounts things, invoicing people, so a bit of everything in this game, really.
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january the 1st in 2021... bang. brexit comes along, it's gone, it'sjust gone, you know? it stopped dead. january, february 2021 were the first months, possibly in the last 200 years, during a season that there were no oyster fishing boats on on the fal. so it's times that haven't been seen, you know? we've got over 50, 60 guys on the books, you know, they're all self—employed fishermen and we're their biggest buyer. you know, during the season, we're the ones paying them week in, week out for the catch. we found out we aren't going to be able to buy queen scallops off you guys or oysters to export. and i had to get all the men around for a meeting, just to sort of say,
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look, really sorry, but there's nothing we can do about it. you know, if we can't get the stuff across the border, you know, we can't buy it off you. there's no point in catching it if you can't get rid of it, because we're just basically killing stuff. so i don't agree with that. so we just basically stop. i'd say, don't go fishing. we can't sell it. we can't get it out. it wasn't nice, cos you know it's the time of year when people need to work most. even if you have done everything, every single thing and done all your due diligence, whenjanuary the 1st came, no one was ready. no one was ready. basically, two months, we do the boats up. just to get everything ready
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for dredging season. and then we find little otherjobs, do a bit of everything, really. all right? we're just making up some windows, fitting some work benches, sorting out the rest of the shed, really. yeah? yeah. right, lovely. this isjust a small part of the paperwork. this isjust for an import procedure. and look at it. you know, it'sjust... it'sjust endless. i don't think there's any procedure for export to anywhere else in the world that's as complex as this. the new paperwork is monumental. you know, we're going to burn a ton of paper and trees to do this. it just seems madness. they were the two
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pieces of paper that were needed before brexit. and this, this, this, all this isjust a part of what's needed now. place of declaration. so this is an export declaration. i've lost count of the number of pages. how many bloody pages is on that? 12 pages. that'sjust one simple document. we'll be here for half an hour. this is the simplest form of all the export procedure. not only you've got to deal with actually the workload, but the added costs for every different stage, it all adds up and it makes it quite tight. ending in... so that'll be france. potentially, it could be 15,000 euros a week in customs clearance charges for a small business exporting 25 consignments a week. office of transit in france, do you want to add?
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it's insane, you know? it's an insane amount of money. purification to this point in this export process is just totally pointless. it knocks two days off the shelf life, it devalues it as a result. it's a lot of unnecessary work and it's only going to be done the other side anyway. purification means an extra 48 hours delay minimum to get that product away. so, potentially, it's a four—day cycle compared to a four— hour cycle to get stuff out and ready for market. so, mart, how likely do you think it's going to be that that we can't get past brexit and we can't carry on? i think the odds are stacked against us in a big way. and i think we're a flick
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of a switch away from it. you know, two or three things go wrong, the whole show can collapse, i think, very easily. worst—case scenario is we can't afford to make ends meet. we stop the business. we stop buying. to see our oyster fishery collapse would be devastating. it's such a beautiful and also a very modern thing in the sense of its sustainability and, you know, it spans all fashions and generations and centuries to keep going and to lose that, you know, it's like losing a national treasure, really, you know, and a national treasure i'm not willing to lose.
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a dredger�*s got to fish properly. if there's holes in it or anything that catches up, little rings that have gone in them, they won't fish so good. so start of the season, you want them in pristine condition like, you know? we've pulled up some strange things out in the fishing boat, yeah. when you fish, the mesh lays on the seabed, the net fills up. we pull it up, shake it out. anything on the seabed we'll catch. wallets, mainly sunglasses. because everyone�*s out on a boat, they all come off the heads. i've had false teeth, bags. cannonballs, onion bottles. phallic symbols.
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i don't really want to go in to that. but, yeah, we've caught a few strange things, yeah. i caught a £20 note. it was wrapped in... just wrapped around a piece of seaweed, you know? so that was good. but i did give £10 to my mate, so he was happy as well. we want to get on with the job. you know, we want to go on with growing oysters, selling them, you know, keep the fishery going, keep the boats going. so we're off to see a local customer in my own village. tom, the chef here, he's
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a great old school chef and he's come up with some great recipes and customers like it, so it's good news. morning. hello, martin, all right? yeah, very well, thank you. and you? yeah, very good. right, there's some mussels, 5kg. caught from the fal a couple of days ago. good meat content in there, should be good. have a lovely day. i'll catch up with you later on. cheers. some nice big, meaty mussels, work really well with the sort of coconut style curry. we've made a sort of curry paste with loads of ginger, chilli, a little bit of lemongrass, some cumin. we work first hand with fishermen and we see the struggles they go through with sort of brexit and what have you and all the politics of it.
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see, martin, the strategy�*s down through trying to get stuff abroad, and we're trying to get people to eat local. and, you know, maybe all that stuff wouldn't have to go abroad. do you know what i mean? because we've got these really sort of passionate men that go out fishing every day and bring us all this lovely seafood. coconut milk and the double cream. england as a whole doesn't buy enough seafood for everything that's landed here. 0ur eating habits and our traditions don't make way for mussels. we don't find an evening where we have mussels instead of fish and chips. and it's all on our doorstep.
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there was only four boats on at the start the season. it wasn't like a regatta. the least i've ever seen. nobody�*s very keen. you know, we have got more boats out now, we've got seven or eight boats out now, which is a little bit better, but nothing special. here we go. shame we ain't got dan with us, though, innit, les? yeah, yeah. we haven't got nobody to argue with now. that's it. dan's off sick with a broken elbow. i think he'll be back after christmas with a bit of luck.
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so make sure we're just picking out the nice... nice—shaped ones, the ones easy to open, nice chunky meat in them for the customers. just anything that's obviously a bit smaller, we can put back out on the beach. this local outlet is going to help get rid of a substantial amount of product locally, more so than we ever have done before. so i think that will help take the pressure off for the boats on the local fishery. if we're struggling to shift export. obviously, the market isn't anywhere as big as it is in europe, but it's a good connection for the people locally to sample what we've got. the traditional export products that wouldn't have got a look—in in the uk, people are slowly finding favour with.
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hello. col, it's martin. all right? yeah, you all right? yeah _ tell me when you went through yesterday, how did it go? was it... — it was fairly quick, was it? yeah, fine, half hour, something like that. i half an hour. oh, that's pretty good. 0k, col, see you when you get back. drive safe. bye. so, yeah, that was one of our drivers. that phone call was the nice bit, that you've gone through the huge pain barrier of getting it over there. brexit charges and the modern logistics problems are adding a big cost and that cost is the customer pays more. we make less and the fisherman gets paid less. the thing it's doing
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is driving the prices down, the brexit and all like that, because they're not, you know, you get more than they need, so the prices is going down. you just aren't earning enough, you know, and with everything going up in price. oysters haven't gone up in price, like everything else has, and your catch has come down. what do you think are the oystermens' expectations for this year? so, essentially, they're all nervous. you know, like everyone else, because they don't know how long it's going to go on for, how the market's going to react with the added brexit stuff and the challenging time. they want to know if it's going to be on, you know, week in, week out. and unfortunately, we're still in the position where, you know, it's a very ad hoc basis. i think if we can keep a better market open for the local stuff as well, so if the exports do have a bit of a moment, we can help try and keep them satisfied that we're here and we want to keep buying and keep doing it.
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yeah, that you, mark? yeah. i've got 20 bags of queens and three bags of oysters. i'll be in when we get in in about half an hour. ok, mark, all the best. cheers. keep the next dredge in now. we're on our way back now. that's the end of the day. right on. i look forward to doing it. i enjoy my life better when i've been oystering. my family have been active in the fishing industry in cornwall since 1452. i don't want it all to end. my long line of connection to the oyster fishery
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and to fishing in cornwall. not because of brexit. not on my watch. so we're really going to fight hard to see this to the end, to make sure that future generations and members of my family can carry on fishing sustainably in cornwall. hello there.
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high pressure�*s expected to build in across the country to end this week and into the weekend to settle things down, bring us some sunshine and lighter winds. but before that point, thursday looks very unsettled. it'll be cold and windy with sunshine and even wintry showers. now, the cold air�*s been moving in across the country during the overnight period behind this weather front, this band of rain, which is actually a cold front. it'll be lying across the south east of england and east anglia to start thursday morning. some heavy rain on that, bit of sleet on its back edge, but eventually it'll clear out during the mid to latter part of the morning, and then we're all into brighter skies, sunshine and blustery showers. these will be wintry across northern and western areas, particularly on the hills. frequent snow showers across scotland, northern ireland, mixed in with thunder and lightning. also start off with an ice risk across northern scotland, too. it's going to be a windy day across the board, widespread gales across the northern half of the uk. and these temperatures much lower than they've been of late, 4—8 degrees
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across the south. factor in the wind, it'll feel even colder than those temperatures suggest. those showers with thunder and lightning and snow continue across the north of the uk during thursday night. the winds will start to turn light as a ridge of high pressure moves in, and that'll also help kill off some of the showers. temperature—wise, ranging from around freezing to five degrees across the south. so, you can see this ridge of high pressure building in for friday. it'll push the strong winds and the showers away from northern and eastern areas gradually through the day, so it could start quite windy across eastern england in towards the south east. one or two showers, but as that ridge of high pressure builds in, it'll settle things down, increasing amounts of sunshine, the winds falling lighter. so, temperatures will respond. highs of around 10—11, maybe 12 degrees across the south. a touch higher across the north, too. so, that's friday, then, a fine picture. we hold onto our area of high pressure into the weekend as well, particularly for england and wales, but you'll notice these weather fronts starting to push
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into the far north and the west, particularly as we head on into sunday, so it will be going downhill there during part two of the weekend. so, plenty of dry weather around on saturday, particularly for england and wales. that lasts across england and wales on sunday, but it starts to turn breezier, cloudier and wetter across the north and the west.
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welcome to bbc news — i'm simon pusey. our top stories. ukraine's president volodymyr zelensky appeals directly to the people of russia to prevent war — the un security council prepares to hold an emergency an emergency session. more russian military hardware heads to the ukrainian border as the us secretary of state says he believes a russian invasion is imminent — although aggression can still be avoided. ukraine braces for possible hostilities with reservists being called up tojoin hostilities with reservists being called up to join the regular army in preparation.


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