Meet Worthing's last full time fisherman
Released: Friday, 19 October 2018
Meet Nick 'The Fish' Jenkins, the last full time fisherman in Worthing.
But if 48-year-old Nick's experience is anything to go by he may not be the only one hauling his boat down the shingle into the Channel at the crack of dawn for long.
For his Marine Court locker hut is now doing brisk business selling fish as fresh as it's possible to be.
Born and bred in Lancing Nick began fishing with his dad in the 80s and moved away to start a life in commercial fishing in Brighton before getting a job in the kitchen in Rick Stein's famous restaurant in Padstow where he was once described as 'the best filleter around'.
Nick now finds himself back home where his journey all began in a town which was once had a thriving fishing community. He's one of a select group of fisherman, the others part-time, hoping to keep the culture and business alive in Worthing.
In recent years Worthing Borough Council has installed fresh water pipes to the beach to help the fishermen clean their fish and boats.
The council has also helped fund projects such as The Last Fisherman Standing which aimed to help local tradesmen like Nick in an attempt to protect the town's rich fishing heritage.
The Council's Beach Office team based on Worthing seafront, have carried out a complete census on all boats and locker sites, introduced a rubbish amnesty to kickstart regeneration of locker sites, and fostered a good workplace relationship with our fishermen.
Nick returned to fishing in Worthing in April of this year, and is keen for as many people as possible to try his fresh produce.
What's a typical day for Nick?
“Just selling fish really! You don't want to be out here too long, especially during the winter season. Most days us fishermen can spend up to six hours at sea, but sometimes I can be out there for as little as two or three.”
“Fishing, generally, was much better in the 80s and 90s. Everyone had sold out by lunch time and that was with around half a dozen boats out at sea too.”
A large portion of Nick's customers come from far and wide to try his fresh fish.
“I get a lot of people from all over the globe, who buy from me for their own meals and as a way to source produce for their restaurants” he says.
“There's no doubt that the British have lost the tradition of eating fresh fish, some may even say fish in general. I'm lucky to have a selection of loyal customers here. I value them more than you can imagine.”
Local resident Ian Postlethwaite, buying fish from Nick, says:
“I haven't had fresh fish like this in a year or so, and I thought I'd grab myself some quality produce before starting work.”
“It's fresh! I just saw Nick grab a huge crate of fish from the boat and it's great to support local businesses rather than the national supermarkets.”
Photo: Nick Jenkins on his fishing boat
Photo: Nick Jenkins carrying a crate of fish to his stall
Photo: Nick Jenkins preparing to fillet his fish
Photo: Nick Jenkins' stall
Photo: Nick Jenkins selling his fish to a customer
Photo: Nick Jenkins' boat
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