This film is part of Free

Cornish Crabmen

Crab catching feeds the local economy with a celebrated delicacy.

News 1964 4 mins

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David Mudd reports on the Carey brothers of Coverack and the craft of making crab pots. The Carey brothers craft 120 to 150 pots each winter ready for the crab catching season which runs from Easter into the autumn. Crabs are sold locally, nationally and internationally and are still a regular feature on menus in the South West. Traditional Cornish pots are made from willow with a nine inch mouth opening for crabs and six inches for a lobster.

Withy pot-making is still alive in Cornwall but the industry now uses plastic and steel pots. There are recognisable regional differences in the pot weave with Cornish pots being flatter than Devon or Dorset equivalents. The inkwell pot is dome-shaped and the crustacea enter from the top of the pot. The parlour pot is rectangular and more for lobsters. About 20,000 tonnes of edible or brown crab are landed in the UK annually and 70% of the catch is exported live. The film Born of the Sea (1949) was made in Coverack and used local fishermen as extras. The small coastal community on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall suffered from devastating flash floods in 2017.