Oldest fisherman celebrates 70 years at sea despite not eating fish and not being able to swim


The oldest fishermen in the country celebrated 70 years of netting seafood despite never tasting his catch – because he doesn’t eat FISH.

Bill Hocking began fishing in May 1940 as 11-year-old boy and is still hauling lobster and crabs 70 years later.

He starts work at 5am every morning and works seven days a week, weather permitting in the seas off Looe in Cornwall.

He has now retired from gruelling 36-hour trawling trips, because of his age, yet he still goes out to sea in a boat by himself each day to haul in lobster and crab.

But, despite being Britain’s longest serving fisherman, Bill says he doesn’t eat fish and his favourite food is BEEF.

Bill said: “I am not as young as I was and now sometimes I struggle to get the dinghy out from the beach.

“But it’s a way of life. I just enjoy being out there as long as I can physically do it I have no intention of giving up.

“I will carry on as long as I can. What am I going to do? Give up, go home and die? My life is out there at sea.

“I’m not a fish eater as such. I’m not keen on shellfish and I don’t really like any fish to be quite honest. Farmers like fish, I like beef.”

Bill began fishing full time in January 1944 when he was 14-years-old and his catch was delivered to Plymouth until the construction of Looe fish market in 1987.

Bill added: “When I first started it was very different. Back then, a thousand hooks wook catch you 30 turbot – each weighing over a stone each. They’re long since gone.

“In those days all you had to do to be a fisherman was get your register signed once a year. Now you’ve got forms to fill in, morning, noon and night.”

Photography and video by Adam Gerrard


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