Fears for our famous shrimps

Fisherman Ray Edmondson on the slipway with his boat in the background.
Fisherman Ray Edmondson on the slipway with his boat in the background.

Two of Morecambe’s longest-serving shrimp fishermen threatened to quit after a parking row which they say could threaten the entire industry.

Ray Edmondson and Mark Willacy are furious after Mark had to pay £150 when his van was towed away for blocking the lifeboat station slipway which they use to launch their shrimping boats.

Mr Edmondson, who has fished in the bay for 50 years, said: “It’s going to stop me fishing. The Queen will have to do without her Christmas dinner.

“The football club in Morecambe will have to find another name.

“My grandson will be out of a job because I was training him up to take over after me.

“There won’t be any shrimps in Morecambe, Morecambe shrimps will be finished.

“We both feel like calling it a day and it’s awful.”

Mr Willacy, whose family own The Shrimp Shop in Poulton village and have fished in Morecambe for generations, had his van towed away after police received a phone call saying it was causing an obstruction on the slipway used by the RNLI lifeboat and hovercraft.

Mr Willacy had to pay £150 to recover his van and was also given a fixed penalty notice.

Mr Edmondson, who runs a fishmonger’s in the West End, said the fishermen had used the slipway for 10 years without problems and their vehicles never block it.

“It’s more dangerous to reverse on the promenade than on the slipway.

“I’m just at the end of my tether with it. Mark’s shrimps at times go to Buckingham Palace. I’m thinking of packing it in, its absolutely sickening.”

Police said they issued a fixed penalty notice to a car that was parked in a restricted area of the lifeboat station blocking access to the station on April 13.

Colin Midwinter from Morecambe Lifeboat said: “The fishermen have a living to make but there is no necessity for them to park on the slipway. Minutes and seconds count, time counts from our perspective if someone needs rescuing.”

A spokesperson for Lancaster City Council said: “The markings at the RNLI lifeboat station which houses the hovercraft, clearly indicate where people must not park their vehicle.

“This is to ensure that the hovercraft can be deployed as soon as possible to respond to emergencies and save lives.”