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Whitehaven's fishing community is among the most deprived in Britain, according to a study by a maritime charity.
Seafarers UK said the once-thriving port now has fewer than 60 fishermen and just 15 vessels.
The charity looked at poverty indicators and the value of fish landings to measure levels of deprivation at 41 ports and harbours across the UK.
Ron Graham, who runs a small fleet of fishing boats, says young people don't find work in the industry attractive any more.
Young lads would be queuing up to get onto the boats because it was a laugh, you could catch fish, you got paid for what you caught.
Young people people these days are looking for stability, they're looking for a regular income."