Fishing has always been an integral part of Cornish heritage, but perhaps it was the humble pilchard that cemented fishing at the heart of the Cornish way of life back in the early 1700s. Fishermen in open rowing boats were regularly directed by “huers”: clifftop look-outs used to locate shoals of fish and direct the fishing operation from a high vantage point.

These days the huers might be gone but the reputation of Cornish fishermen and the world-renowned fish they catch lives on. Our fleet continues to supply the UK and beyond with a fantastically diverse range of sustainable fish and shellfish species for dinner plates everywhere.

The original CFPO membership book from 1975.

Ensuring there was a united and authoritative voice for Cornwall’s fishing industry was the driving force behind the CFPO’s establishment in 1975. Over the years the CFPO has evolved and developed with the Cornish fishing industry, and today it remains the genuine voice of Cornish fishermen.

The CFPO’s founding members

Starting with just a handful of fishermen, original board members (all fishermen) such as messers Lawry, Townsend, Parker and Collins were the driving force behind the CFPO’s establishment and ultimate success.

From the handful of original fisherman, the CFPO has grown with its members leading the way in the development of the fishing industry throughout Cornwall. It’s our members who have always been, and always will be, at the very heart of the CFPO and it’s those active fishermen who shape the work of the CFPO today. As fisheries and their management have evolved and developed, so has the CFPO.

Always a voice for genuine fishermen, our roles of representation, marketing and quota management have become increasingly important in today’s complicated and often frustratingly bureaucratic world of fisheries management for fishermen. Today the CFPO is proud to represent one of the most diverse and sustainable fleets in Europe. Currently, we represent over 160 member vessels, landing over 50 different species of fish and shellfish, collectively generating a first sale value of over £30 million every year.