Plymouth charity Greenhook Fishing has launched the first of its sustainable fishing vessels from its boatyard.

Greenhook Fishing has been established to provide training and full-time employment in the boatbuilding, fishing and related industries. It works primarily, but not exclusively, with ex-services personnel who have fallen through the traditional resettlement net and have experienced difficulties in adapting to civilian life.

The launch of the vessel, the Geoffrey Rowe, is a significant milestone for the charity, marking the culmination of months of planning, training and hard work by a team of Greenhook Fishing volunteers.

The team, led by workshop manager Herbie Tancock, have fitted out the Geoffrey Rowe’s hull from scratch. The hooker – a traditional Plymouth craft – is the first of several sail-powered boats that the charity hopes to fit out and launch in the city.

The Geoffrey Rowe was launched alongside another completely refitted support vessel, Twilight.

Greenhook Fishing, established at Richmond Walk by ex-Navy chaplain Kenneth Bromage in 2014, is ‘dedicated to building sustainable futures by creating co-operative-based ventures in boatbuilding and fishing and creating long-term skill and employment opportunities for those who participate’.

“Today has been a hugely rewarding day for everyone who has dedicated their time and skills to the ongoing construction of our fleet of vessels,” Ken Bromage said. “Alongside the physical projects here, we look to offer as holistic a service as possible to our participants, helping them to bring about real and lasting change in their lives.”

Greenhook Fishing is now hoping to secure a new round of funding, including an imminent Crowdfunder appeal, to enable it to transition to a series of self-sufficient co-operatives, including boatbuilding, fishing and using its comprehensive woodworking facilities for related projects.

“We are extremely keen to continue the amazing work of the charity and our participants and volunteers,” said Steve Ward, interim CEO for Greenhook Fishing. “We are now planning for the next phase of our co-operative- based ventures to permit us to create both employment prospects and sustain our programme for new participants who are ready for a fresh chapter and new opportunities.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here. Above photo credit: Chris Wright.


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