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Posted On: 5th Sep 2016

Career in Fishing

Ben Bengey wants more youngsters to pursue a career in the fishing industry
Ben says the sea is a beautiful place
Ben speaks to students about his career

‘You can make a really good career in the fishing industry. The older crew are now getting into their sixties and they want to take a step back, but there’s not the push of youngsters getting into the game, which is such a shame.’

 

A teenager who has a successful career in the fishing industry is encouraging young school leavers to follow in his footsteps.

 

Ben Bengey, who lives in Ilfracombe, Devon, is working with Fixers to show what young people can gain from working in the industry.

 

His story was broadcast on ITV West Country. 

 

During his career, Ben has gained a number of qualifications in subjects including bridge watch keeping, first aid and firefighting.

 

The 19-year-old says: ‘It’s all stuff you can take further afield and use abroad. You could go on fishing boats in Spain, New Zealand or Alaska.’

 

 

Ben’s work includes lobster potting, taking holiday-makers angling during the summer months and whelking in winter. 

 

‘The sea is a beautiful place and you never get one day the same as the next,’ he says.

 

‘Fishing is challenging, getting up early hours in the morning is hard and it may be physically demanding sometimes but the sights you see, the sunrises, the sunsets, the whales, the dolphins, it makes it all worthwhile.

 

‘I couldn’t do a job in an office. I’ve got to be doing something or using my hands to maybe splice a rope or mend a lobster pot.

 

‘There’s a lot of young people with the same skillset who don’t know what they could be doing right now. Everywhere in the world people are crying out for fishermen.’

 

Ben hopes that his Fixers project will teach people more about where their seafood comes from as well as persuading young people to try fishing and see if they enjoy it. 

 

‘I feel that schools should be putting more time and effort in to showing young people there’s lots of different parts of the industry you can get in to,’ he says. 

 

John Balls of the North Devon Fishermen’s Association said: ‘The unfortunate thing is that the average age of a fisherman in the UK fishing fleet today is roundabout 57 years of age.

 

‘I would love to see young kids getting involved in the job. I whole heartedly take my hat off to Ben Bengy for promoting the fishing industry.’

 

Ben's film was launched at Truro and Penwith College, at an event attended by around 60 students. 

 

One audience member, Arabella Freeman, said: 'I didn't realise you could learn such a wide skill set by fishing, nor did I think about working internationally with it. It's interesting.' 

 

To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.

 

Author: Molly Kersey

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