Guernsey

Guernsey fishermen face losses due to cold weather

Dougal Lane
Image caption Mr Lane said current weather conditions were the coldest he could recall since 1963

Guernsey's commercial fishermen say they have lost money because of persistent north easterly winds and low sea temperatures.

For most of March and early April, many boats have remained in port.

Dougal Lane, president of the Guernsey Fishermen's Association, said an April reading of 7.5C (45.5F) was the coldest he could recall since 1963.

"An easterly wind like this stops everything," he said. "Wet fish, shellfish - it slows everything down."

Mr Lane said owners of smaller boats were reluctant to go out because of a combination of rough conditions and sparse catches.

These, he said, were caused by fish and shellfish remaining inactive in order to conserve energy.

He said even the larger vessels were finding it tough.

"They're putting bait in the pots but half the time they pull it up and the bait's just hanging there. The crabs haven't got the energy to eat it," he said.

The average sea temperature around Guernsey in the first week of April is 9.5C (49.1F), according to the island's meteorological office.

The lowest readings are typically recorded at the beginning of March and the highest at the end of August.

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