A public meeting is being held to discuss the implications of an extended consultation on local fishing rights.

Appledore’s historic fishing industry could be in jeopardy due to changes to local fishing rights.

A public meeting is being held on Monday in Appledore after a presentation by Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) to discuss the implications.

IFCA will present from 4-8pm, followed by the meeting at Appledore Library at 8pm.

Appledore is possibly one of the oldest fishing ports in England, and it is with justifiable pride that the fishermen trace their ancestry back through generation of fishermen and seafarers.

But fishermen are finding that their livelihoods are continually and systematically eroded by external factors and most recently by the impact of quotas and restrictions imposed upon them by the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

The impact of the new regulations will threaten the fishermen’s ability to fish the remaining two miles currently available to them having previously lost the sixteen miles of the river historically available to previous generations of fishermen.

Councillor Philip Hackett, Torridge lead member for internal resources, said: “The local fishermen desperately want to continue and Torridge District Council wants to support and encourage this industry to continue and thrive by branding the local industry and seeking to support the fishdock with schemes to add value to the local product.

“European boats prize our local fish and the current fishing grounds around North Devon, and Britain may be negotiated away during BREXIT.

“Appledore fishermen would like an assurance given to them from the highest level about their fishing rights and the size of our territorial waters.”

Geoffrey Cox has also show support for the fishing industry locally, saying he has ‘fought a fair deal’ for fishermen.

He added: “In particular I am arguing strongly at Westminster that the new national fishing policy, that will be required once we exit the European Union, should be based on promoting local fishing fleets such as ours in Northern Devon.

“This new proposal seems untimely and I have raised the issue with the Fisheries Minister. I shall be holding discussions with him and the Secretary of State at the earliest opportunity.”