Cornish fishermen "devastated" over cargo ship damage

image captionMounts Bay fisherman Jeremy Rowe said he would like a ban on cargo ships anchoring in the area

Fishermen say they are "devastated" cargo ships anchoring off Cornwall are wrecking their grounds and equipment.

They say the bulk carriers' heavy chains are destroying crab pots worth thousands of pounds and parts of the sea bed in Mounts Bay.

It is legal for the vessels to anchor free of charge in the bay, which is sheltered from the weather.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said there were "ongoing efforts" to address the problem.

Cargo ships from as far away as Hong Kong and Liberia have anchored off the coast in between jobs.

The rest periods can be more frequent if global trade is down.

Jeremy Rowe, a Mounts Bay fisherman, said it "hurts that pristine fishing grounds are being wrecked".

He said: "It does put a massive question mark over inshore fishing - a historic way of fishing - in this part of the world."

Paul Trebilcock from the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation said there was "genuine conflict" and it was a "serious concern" for some inshore fishermen.

In a joint statement, the MCA and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), said they "both recognise that there is an ongoing situation in relation to use of this space, and are both keen to participate in ongoing efforts to identify any further steps that can be taken".

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