Can Bridlington land best port award?

Bridlington Harbour
Bridlington Harbour

Being named the best port in Britain could be just the tonic Bridlington Harbour needs.

After a record-breaking year which saw it retain its position as the country’s leading shellfish port and welcome a new £1m dredger, it could top off a successful few months by claiming a pretsigious national title

Margaret Hyland

Margaret Hyland

It has been shortlisted in Fishing News Awards and success would also help to clear the disappointment following last month’s news that the Yorkshire Marina project has hit the rocks again.

And with Jack Sanderson from the crabber Perserverance II in the running for the Young Fisherman of the Year title, there could be double delight for Bridlington at May’s awards ceremony in Aberdeen.

It is up against the current holder, Brixham in Devon and three Scottish towns, Cullivoe, Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

Margaret Hyland, chief executive and collector of dues at Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, said: “I think it is absolutely brilliant, it is tremendous to be shortlisted.

Bridlington harbour

Bridlington harbour

“We are absolutely over the moon.

“It is such a team effort –from the fleet, to the mechanics, the landing companies and the pier staff.

“The fishermen go out in all weathers and for them to be recognised is lovely.

“We have been the premier shellfish port in the UK for numerous years and this would be the icing on the cake if we could pull it off.”

Awards organisers said Bridlington had made the final five because: “Home to some 40 potting boats, the UK’s leading shellfish port achieved a record-breaking catch value of £9.5m in 2017, of which lobsters accounted for £5.9m and crabs £3m.

“Bridlington Harbour Commissioners took delivery of a purpose-built 25.4m dredger last year, to deepen the harbour, where three local companies run vivier-storage systems on the pier.”

A judging panel drawn from the fishing industry will pick the winning port.

Margaret added: “All the revenues go back into maintaining the fabric of the harbour and we have a tremendous wealth of experience down here.

“A tremendous amount of time and effort goes into making this the place it is.

“It is like a village, but because we have so many businesses here, you could say we are like an industrial estate with water in the middle.

“It is a living, breathing environment, continually evolving and it is great to be recognised by our own industry.

“We have been on cloud nine since we found out.”