Ben, Fishing’s New Ambassador

Ben Bengey young fisherman on boardGreat to see that young men are still going into fishing

This is Ben Bengey, an inspirational young fisherman from Ilfracombe in North Devon, who is fast becoming the voice for the future of fishing in the UK.  Ben Bengey’s charm and passion for his work make him the perfect young ambassador for the industry. I remember chatting with Ben’s mum at the launch of the Boat Series films (Bideford event). He loves his work all right, and made the whole audience laugh in the film (click on the fishing link above) where he says his first ambition was to be a footballer, then a porn star! Fishing ain’t quite so glam.

Ben features in a new short film – A Life in the Day of a Young Fisherman – one episode in a ten-part series of five-minute documentaries on the people whose lives revolve around boats and fishing in North Devon.
Ben understands the importance of sustainability in his work and wants to share this with others.  In September, Ben took his film to London for the launch of Blue New Deal, an initiative from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and explains:  “It was about UK coastal communities and the jobs and people behind it all.  So I went to talk about fishing and tell people that fisherman are not as bad as the news shows and we do put things in place to stop overfishing, like the ray box and the Trevose box.” 
One scene in “A Life in the Day of a Young Fisherman” shows Ben returning a lobster to the sea despite it being within the legal size for keeping.  He says he’d “rather put it back… may have kids… grow a bit bigger” and adds: “I don’t see any reason to keep ’em.  You’re just messing with your own future, to be honest”.
Ben lives and breathes a life on the sea – at just 19 he has his own boat, Silver Spirit, which is licensed for both commercial fishing and passengers so when he’s not out potting for lobsters and crabs (or volunteering for the RNLI) he’s running fishing trips and he spends his spare time on his boat fishing with his mates for the sheer pleasure of it.  He sums up his film with the words ” I just want to be out on the water, every day, every hour.”
Boat Stories Producer, Jo Stewart-Smith says: “Right from the beginning I wanted to make a film about a young fisherman starting out – who was serious about making a go of it in this tough, fickle, roller coaster business. It’s not a choice many youngsters make – there are far easier ways of making a living. But as someone wrote after watching our film ‘Ben is following his dream and making a go of it.’ 
The Boat Stories films are a valuable way of informing people about the fishing industry, Ben says: “It’s really good as like I said on the news (ITV Westcountry interviewed Ben to launch Boat Stories as a web series) people don’t have a clue what we do and it’s great to show people!”
You can watch Ben’s film and read more about him and his work on the Boat Stories website

 

 

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