Stormy weather thwarts Sussex beach fishermen

Paul Joy, from Hastings Fisherman's Protection Society, said: "If you can't go to sea, you don't earn any money. It's as simple as that."

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Fishermen on the Sussex coast have said the stormy weather has had a devastating impact on their work.

Many fishermen in the county use vessels which are shorter than 10m (33ft).

In Hastings, which is reported to have the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Britain, some fishermen said they have been only able to make three trips in two months.

Fish shops in the area have said prices have risen as a result.

Mark Woodley, a fisherman from Hastings, said he would usually make 15 outings each month.

"We've had a major problem for the past couple of months - the weather's just been a no-go," he said.

"We've done three or four trips, the wind has been so strong that not a lot of people have risked the launch and get back on to the beach.

"It's so easy to do a lot of damage to the boat.

"It's been a tough old time for us and it's still going on."

Sebastian Candelon, who is the director of The Fresh Fish Shop, with branches in Haywards Heath and West Grinstead said: "It is definitely the worst I've ever seen it being, since the seven years I've been in the trade.

"Prices reached their peak about two weeks ago, when lemon sole and monkfish doubled in price."

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