Fishing Port of Brixham

Brixham harbour01

Brixham is on the south-west coast of England in the county of Devon. The main hub of Brixham is its beautiful and picturesque harbour. If you were to bring someone back from 200 years ago they would almost certainly recognise nearly all of the Brixham harbour area because it's so unchanged.

Berry head Brixham

The area I live in Brixham is right next to the Berry Head National Park which is a small nature reserve. If you look at the photo above you can see the black arrow pointing to the area that my house is located. I'm approximately 200 feet above sea level and probably not much more from the edge of the cliffs overlooking the sea.

Brixham fish quay

Brixham is a beautiful small fishing town with approximately 20,000 residents. Brixham being part of Torbay is very well known tourist area and many thousands of people visit the area every year. However, Brixham is probably more well-known for being the oldest fishing port in the whole of the UK. Sometimes known as the "mother port" of all fisheries Brixham has had a fishing fleet of trawlers for hundreds of years and all other fishing ports around the coast originate from here in one form or another.

Brixham beam trawler

Brixham is famous for beam trawling as it was actually invented by a boat from Brixham well over a century ago. However, the invention of beam trawling has an interesting story. It is thought that a broken mast fell into the water with the sail still attached. After retrieving the mast from the water the sail which had been dragging along the bottom was found to be full of Dover sole. And that is how the method of beam trawling was thought to have been conceived, albeit by accident. Beam trawlers are very distinct as they have two long arms protruding up in the air just in front of the wheelhouse. These are actually called "derricks" and are what lift the beams in and out of the water. The beam which gives the fishing methods its name is basically a long metal tube which can be anything from a couple of meters long up to 20 m long depending on how big the trawler is. As you can see by the diagram above most beam trawlers have two nets which are trolled from both the port and starboard side of the vessel. This fishing method is used to catch fish that live on the bottom of the ocean, fish such as Dover and Lemon Sole, Plaice, Turbot and Monkfish just to name a few.