There’s a bitter north-easterly wind whipping the waves as Chris Ranger moors his ageing sailboat and steps off with a small net of oysters.
‘This time last year, I’d be selling 1,500 of these for Valentine’s Day,’ he says. ‘But Covid has closed the UK market and Brexit has ended EU exports. I’m down to a few web sales, perhaps 300 oysters. To be honest, I’m struggling.’
His plight is shared by the handful of traditional oyster and scallop boat crews working Cornwall’s River Fal. It’s a difficult job and the season is restricted to six months between October and March, when the weather is at its most bitter.
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