In a busy schedule, Hugh Bonner and Sharon Boyle of Mara Media visited a large number of fishing ports including Brixham, Plymouth, Looe, Megavissey, Newlyn and Newquay where the whole concept of a new fisheries show aimed at English and Welsh fishing communities was enthusiastically received.
Over 70 companies have already confirmed they will be exhibiting at the fisheries expo which will be held at the Marriott City Centre Hotel in Bristol on 25 and 26 October 2013. Such has been the interest that new space has now been secured to accommodate even more exhibitors.
Sharon Boyle said: “Our visit to meet the south-west fishing industry was a real eye-opener because it revealed that there is a huge level of support for a show of this type focused on the English and Welsh fishing industries.”
Their trip began in Brixham where they met with Jim Portus of the South Western Fish Producers’ Organisation, Barry Young of Brixham Trawler Agents, Jonathan Reid of J. Reid Scallop Gear and Julian Blewitt Painter. An early morning visit to the fishmarket enabled meetings with many more local companies and fishermen.
Jim Portus, chief executive of the SWFPO, said: “There certainly appears to be an excellent level of industry support for the Bristol fishing expo in Brixham and the south-west in general, which looks set to result in a strong attendance at the show from both fishermen and other associated seafood sectors.”
Next port of call was Plymouth where meetings were held with Plymouth Trawler Agents, Gael Force Marine and several local fishermen. In nearby Looe, Sharon and Hugh met fisherman Andy Giles of the fishing vessel Guiding Light III, as well as exhibitors Fairwater Fishing and Blackdog Marine.
Another prominent fisherman they met was Megavissey fisherman David Warwick of the Valhalla. He said: “It was great to meet Sharon and Hugh and their enthusiasm for the show was infectious. I think it is brilliant that a fishing show is being held for the English and Welsh fishing communities as it will be right on our doorstep and easy to visit. There seems to be strong support here in the south-west for the show and myself and a group of fishermen from Megavissey are really looking forward to visiting the expo.”
The final stage of Hugh and Sharon’s trip took in Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole and Newquay, where they met with a large number of fishermen and companies, including Penzance Dry Dock and Stevenson Newlyn, Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation and Phil Lockley. The following week, Sharon visited Southampton, Lymington, Poole, Weymouth and the Isle of Wight.
Sharon Boyle said: “Virtually everyone we met signalled their interest in the show and the desire to attend, and we would like to thank the south-west and south coast fishing industry for their tremendous support and hospitality during our visit.”
Skipper Expo Int. Bristol will include companies from diverse sectors such as marine electronics, engine suppliers, safety equipment, creels, chandlery and deck machinery. An under-10m boat from G. Smyth Boats will also form a key focal point of attraction.
More information on Skipper Expo Int. Bristol at www.maramedia.ie or contact Sharon Boyle on 00353 86 840 1250.