Find out what the NDFA & our members have been up to...


On Saturday 2nd March 2019 a good crowd of people witnessed the new fishing boat the 'Serene Skye' BD 22 being blessed and named by the Superintendent of the Shipwrecked Mariners and Fishermen's Mission alongside  Appledore Quay.


Built by Kevin Reed and Shaun Kay in Appledore she is a  Smythe 8 metre hull and will work the North Devon coast from Appledore.

On behalf of Kevin & Shaun, John Balls, Chairman of the NDFA thanked all those concerned with helping the build over the past couple of years.


Fishing Workshop in Bristol, organised by the Countryside & Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire, attended by John Balls & Bruce Hamman.



SW Quota meeting in Plymouth attended by John Balls & Scott Wharton.



PUKFI meeting in Plymouth attended by John Balls.



SW Quota Advisory Group meeting in Plymouth attended by John Balls.



SW Seafish Advisory Group meeting in Plymouth attended by John Balls.


Torquay meeting involving Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg regarding 'Keep the Pressure on for the Leave, which means Leave, campaign'. NDFA represented by Scott Wharton and Tony Rutherford.


NFFO/Executive Committee meeting in York to update proposals on the White Paper attended by John Balls.



Meeting re: Bass Fishery held in Plymouth attended by Tony Rutherford.



NFFO/Defra meeting in London to discuss the White Paper, attended by John Balls.



South West Quota meeting in Plymouth attended by John Balls.



Fishing For Leave meeting in Glasgow to discuss the White Paper attended by Scott Wharton and John Balls.



NFFO/Executive committee meeting in London to discuss the White Paper, attended by John Balls.



Seafish meeting in Plymouth attended by John Balls.



NDFA represented at the South West NFFO meeting in Plymouth by John Balls.


North Devon Trawlers new boat now in the water at Tom’s Yard, Polruan, Cornwall.


It awaits finishing touches, sea trials and naming ceremony in March.


John Balls was invited, along with other guest speakers, to attend the U3A ‘Food for Thought’ day in Barnstaple.  John gave a talk on the North Devon Fishery.



The newly completed boat lift is now ready to go into operation at the C Toms Boatyard in Polruan. It has a lifting capacity of around 200  tonnes. The main docking area for the boat lift is nearing completion and it is hoped that the first boat will be lifted out of the water in a few weeks time.







On 24th February 2017 the keel laying and placing of the coin ceremony took place at the C Toms & Son  shipyard at Polruan in Cornwall.  The contract to build the fishing vessel had been awarded to C Toms & Son by Scott Wharton and James, Iain and Richard Spear of North Devon Trawers Ltd. Scott has visited the yard six times to date to check on progress and hold meetings with the yard owners.  The fishing vessel is due for completion towards the end of this year.


  • Name: Our David George
  • Registration BD287
  • Length  13.5 metres
  • Breadth  5.8 metres
  • Draught  3.8 metres
  • Main engine  Volvo 221 kliowatts  294.66 horsepower
  • To be laid out as a twin rig trawler/scalloper




The NDFA AGM was held and the following officers were re-elected: J Balls (Chair) B Gotts (Vice Chair)  Directors: S Wharton, T Rutherford & C Leonard.


The flags are flying outside Appledore Fish Market (Proprietors T & T Shellfish Ltd Tony & Trudie Rutherford) put these up in support of the UK, Devon fishing and the NDFA


This lobster was caught end of July approximately two and a half miles off Hartland Point, North Devon. (in the boat Aurora YH33 out of Clovelly)


On 27th June, Appledore Fisherman Shaun Kay in his boat the Black Pearl, caught this unusual male lobster off Morte Stone,
North Devon’.


North Devon Trawlers Ltd are having a new vessel built.  She is a 13.5 m, twin rig Trawler/Scalloper and will be powered by a Volvo engine.  She is being built to a very high standard and will have the capability of staying out at sea for 3-5 days if required’.



The NDFA were represented at the NFFO Executive meeting in London.



A representative attended the South West Quota Advisory Group meeting held in Plymouth.



The NDFA were represented at the NFFO

Meeting in York and again at the NFFO executive committee meeting held in York on 02/02/17.



North Devon Gazette article

'No favours for local fleet'.



The NDFA were represented at the South West Quota meeting in Plymouth.


Leaving the EU

The NDFA has been in correspondence with the Prime Minister Teresa May's office, George Eustice MP, Geoffery Cox MP, Peter Heaton-Jones MP, Neil Parish MP, Phil Haslam MMO, and local Councillors with regard to the fishermen's views on a future package for the fishing industry to be negotiated during forthcoming discussions.  Replies have been received from all offices and on 23/09/16 Geoffery Cox attended an NDFA meeting to hear the fishermen's views first hand.



NFFO Executive Committee meeting in York.



The NDFA were represented at the NFFO Shellfish Committee meeting in London.



John Balls attended the NFFO AGM in London at which George Eustice was speaking.

Mr Eustice stated that he would like to see the rebuilding of the local coastal communities and a regeneration of the fishing industry as a whole.



The NDFA were represented at the Devon Marine Forum meeting held in Plymouth 30/06/16.

This Forum advises the MMO on the Marine and Coastal issues for Devon, policy making and key decision making on Marine plans.


October 2015

Article re: 'Putting something back into North Devon's Fishery'

conservation – working with the Padstow Lobster Hatchery releasing baby lobster.


Press Cuttings...


Europe's Young Fishermen:
"The rich get richer, the poor get poorer"

No Quota, No Catch:
"We want our fish back!"

Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen