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North Devon lobster fisherman is star of new short film

PUBLISHED: 14:06 15 July 2014

Geoff Huelin

Geoff Huelin


A new short film by North Devon film maker Jo Stewart-Smith takes a close up look at the work of Ilfracombe lobster fisherman Geoff Huelin

The first short film in the Boat Stories series, Lobster Potting and Berried Hens, looks at life as a lobster potter and explores the positive effects that the Lundy no-take zone has had on the lobster population off the shores of North Devon.

Sarah Clark from Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) explains in the film: “This has been the only no take zone for many, many years which allowed that opportunity to start looking at the benefits of closing an area to fishing. The research has shown the abundance within the no-take zone, the increased population of lobsters and the potential for spillover.”

Spillover is the increase in the population of lobsters outside of the zone available for catching.

Lobster Potting and Berried Hens is a delightful glance at a traditional family business and emphasises the importance of working with nature in this special part of the world.

Amanda McCormack, Creative Director of North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) which is hosting the Boat Stories project, loves the film. She said: “We are really pleased with what Jo and her crew have done with the Boat Stories brief. As well as sharing stories of contemporary life in North Devon an important part of our remit is to give work to local film makers. We want to fly the flag for the documentary film industry in North Devon and this project shows that we definitely have local talent worth celebrating.”

The major funder of the Boat Stories project is Northern Devon FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group). FLAG Programme Manager Jenny Carey-Wood said: “Using film to entertain, inform and engage is vital in reaching a wide audience of children, local people and visitors, to meet the FLAG priority of increasing awareness and understanding of both fishing and the marine environment in North Devon.”

Jenny adds: “This excellent first film about an Ilfracombe potter has already been enthusiastically received by local, national and European audiences.”

All of NDMI’s films are to be shared freely and will not only build a moving image archive for the future but serve to highlight the way we live our lives in North Devon today.

In this film Geoff Huelin sums up: “I can’t see why we can’t continue fishing as we are, as we’ve always done. Providing the berried lobsters are released and the undersized lobsters are put back and it’s managed sensibly ... there’s a living for everybody.”

Learn more about the film and others which will follow it by clicking here.


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