Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch, BBC 1, Tuesday 11 October 2022 will feature Scottish trawler Reliance III. Photo courtesy: Ryan Cordiner

Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch, BBC 1, Tuesday 11 October 2022 will feature Scottish trawler Reliance III. Photo courtesy: Ryan Cordiner

Trawlermen is back and will hit our TV screens on BBC 1, Tuesday 04 October 2022 for a six week run.

This is the first new series of the popular show since 2010, and has been sorely missed by the fishing industry.

‘Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch’ will feature 300,000 square miles of ocean. Multiple deep-sea fishing trips filmed around the clock across one brutal week at sea. From the North Sea to the English Channel – all hunting the catch. High drama on the high seas around Britain.

The story follows our fishermen on a scale not seen before: a national scale. With access across the British deep-sea fishing fleet from Shetland to Cornwall – from £300 million pelagic mackerel boats and state-of-the-art squid hunters to supercrabbers and beam trawlers – satellite data simultaneously tracks the voyages of each boat on their grounds around Britain. From the North Sea to North Atlantic, the Irish Sea to the English Channel, these are some of richest fishing grounds in the world and competition for the catch is intense.

But each skipper and crew face different challenges. Each has a different financial target their back, each hunting different prey, each on different grounds. In their way are fierce storms; mechanical breakdown; crew exhaustion; seasickness; rival boats; injury; fluctuating market prices. This is high drama on the high seas around Britain.

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In Episode 1, it’s the last trip before Christmas and with demand surging, fish prices are rising.

Off the south coast of Cornwall, Ocean Pride is heading out in pursuit of pollack. It’s destination: old sunken shipwrecks in the English Channel. Best mates Ben, Joe and Zyam are targeting £30,000 worth of pollack. If they can catch quickly and land before any of their rivals they’ll have a monopoly on the market – and bank themselves a big pay day. But wreck-netting requires pin-point accuracy to hit target. As the nets miss and seals eat the valuable catch, skipper Ben gambles. Steaming 60 miles West he shoots nets around one of the biggest wrecks in the channel – a 300ft long WW2 tanker – and what could be a haven for thousands of pollock.

380 miles away on the Yorkshire coast, crabber Tydus is preparing to head out. With shellfish prices rising for Christmas the crew have hopes of a big pay day. Stig’s aim is six tons in the tank, a catch that this week could fetch well over £30,000. Once expenses are covered, each of the four young deckhands have the potential to earn themselves up to three grand for a week’s work. On the trip, there’s a greenhorn onboard. 21 year old Glyn has little experience at sea and he’s stepping into the toughest job in fishing; he’ll be expected to haul and empty one crab pot a minute.

Off the south coast of Devon in the English Channel Margaret of Ladram, one of Brixham’s most successful beam trawlers is heading for an area of ground known as the ‘pot boxes’, opening to trawling for the first time in months. Skipper Adam Cowan-Dickie is hoping they contain one of the most lucrative species in British waters: dover sole. With the restaurant trade in full swing for Christmas, Adam could earn £80,000 for the trip – if he can find the fish.

Adam hits good fishing, but as other boats start to see his movements how long can he keep these grounds to himself?

As the Covid-19 omicron variant sweeps around the country, the restaurant industry is threatened with closure, creating shockwaves across the fishing fleet at the most lucrative time of year. Skippers are forced to react to real-time price changes.

In Episode 2 which will air on Tuesday 11 October, Siwrengale heads out for the North Sea whelk season with its Yorkshire crew; Endeavour V hunts squid far off in the North Atlantic, and the Scottish trawler Reliance III heads to a secret spot in its search for whiting.

Grab your remotes and tune in every Tuesday night from 04 October at 8.00pm.

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Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch makes return to BBC 1 in October

by editor time to read: 7 min