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Tourist kicks up stink about smell of dead fish... in fishing harbour

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 02, 2011

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A tourist complained in disgust after he was offended by the sight and smells of a haul of dead fish... on a trawler moored in a fishing harbour.

Fishermen were astounded after David Copp complained to the Ilfracombe Harbourmaster in anger that his children had to see 12 crates of dead fish and crabs while they were there on holiday.

The Copp family were enjoying a sunny day on Ilfracombe Harbour when the fishy smell emanated from The Lady of Lundy.

Mr Copp, 46, said: “There were flies flying around and the smell was awful.

“The ship was just sat there not doing anything, and there were 12 crates of dead crabs and fish just lying there covered in flies.

“It’s not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday; there was a real stench.

“My children were quite distressed by it. These people should be a bit more considerate to the holidaymakers.”

Ilfracombe Harbourmaster Rob Lawson said: “We have the unusual set up of a working harbour which has public access.

“This is generally considered an asset because visitors can get a really good feel for how the industry works, they can enjoy the whole experience.

“My response to him was ‘I’m sorry but you shouldn’t be taking your children to a harbour if that is how they react to dead fish’.”

Mr Lawson said the family’s visit was bad timing as the crates were being moved at the time they passed, meaning the fishy smell was stirred up.

He added: “It was unfortunate but the fishermen do a good job at keeping smells at bay.”

Tony Rutherford, the managing director of Bideford Fisheries said: “Seeing us in action is often considered a tourist attraction in these parts.” He added: “Fish are landed dead.”

LATEST: Visitor in stinking fish row says Ilfracombe is 'a dump'

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  • dickybow101  |  September 07 2011, 10:22PM

    I empathise with Mr Copp. I too was recently traumatised by the sight of wriggling prawns being off-loaded from a trawler in Scotland. Even when I took out my smelling salts to avoid swooning they just laughed and carried on. Will I ever recover from the trauma. At least the prawns were fresh. What a nitwit. Never mind everyone at work got their daily laugh.

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  • Carlozzz  |  September 07 2011, 2:04AM

    I think the story has made it worldwide by now. I teach English in Spain and am basing a lesson plan on it -- it'll make a humorous lesson as everyone gets back their summer holidays. I also posted it on an American news site: http://tinyurl.com/44q93p4 . All the commenters are shocked at Mr. Copp's silliness. I hope he's very embarrassed. By the way, the story also caused me to do some research into your town, which seems like a really lovely place -- a place I hope to visit someday! Cheers!!

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  • flobberdob1  |  September 06 2011, 8:20PM

    Hay guess what ? This Pratt has made national news , I've just seen this story on the Yahoo news site !

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  • STOGSVILLE  |  September 06 2011, 7:29PM

    I am surprised that this gentleman is allowed to be in charge of children,taking into account him being mentally unbalanced LOL.

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  • Stork  |  September 06 2011, 5:40PM

    Why didn't this visitor try to give the poor fish and crabs "CPR" or the "kiss of life" ? Who knows how many could have been saved !

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  • sipajones  |  September 06 2011, 5:27PM

    People of Devon, as a popular UK holiday destination, please do clean up whenever visitors are around and go back to serving clotted cream and talking with a smile and an accent. I appreciate that behind the scenes work needs to be undertaken, but this should be performed at night and behind backdrops of the sea so as not to inconvenience your guests. Please provide your fishermen with air fresheners and ensure only those who look and talk like pop eye. Please also take this in the humorous way it was mean't. I see Mr Cop's complaint as ridiculous as the rest of you. He seems to be confusing Devon with Disneyland.

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  • oiya1  |  September 05 2011, 6:51PM

    Mr Copp Cop it! We swim in our river, We swim in our sea. It not our fault, we are smelly but we do like a bait when we see one. So sling yer hook and leave us smiling.

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  • Junction27  |  September 04 2011, 1:16PM

    You are right, Cabbiescooby. North Devon does benefit greatly from tourism and it always will due to it being one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Britain perhaps even one of the most outstanding in the world. I until recently have lived in Devon since I was born and know the area very well. Although his comment is a bit extreme, I think however that I understand where chrisgd is coming from here. You see, some Devonians have no connection whatsoever to the tourist industry, they may be farmers, fishermen, firemen, engineers, etc, etc. Many of these people see no direct benefit from tourism, all they see is a bigger queue at their local chippy and supermarket, a long wait at their local pub, traffic jams in the evening when they are on their way home from work, all they see is tourists (or grockles in the local tongue) getting in the way of their everyday, normal life. Meanwhile the shopowners, restaurants, pubs, b&b's etc are pulling in the money. He is also referring to the many people who move to Devon from citys for a "better" life and then interfere with and disagree with the local lifestyle. This attitude is not exclusive to North Devon and you will find the same feeling in every rural tourist destination around the country. Im afraid thats just the way it is and I also have felt this way on occasions. I however learnt to smile and remember that I was living in a beautiful place all through the year with a great lifestyle. So to all you Devonians, next time you're getting annoyed in a traffic jam just remember how lucky you are to live in Devon. And to all you tourists, you are very welcome in Devon .......just please try your best to stay off the road between 16:30 and 18:00. cheers!

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  • cabbiescooby  |  September 03 2011, 7:17PM

    ok as a regular tourist to north devon i to think that Mr copp is a total idiot it surprises me that he found his way to illfracombe. But more concerning is the comment by chrisdg For the vast majority of local people, tourism is an intrusion, an inconvenience and a blight on our way of life." Well as a tourist i come twice a year paying £400-500 per week on a campsite and probabally spend around £800-£1000 in the local economy per trip i use the local shops pubs, resturants ,shops, petrol stations, car parks, vist and pay to get in local attractions and i guess this is a blight on everybodys life in devon is it. Tell me chrisdg if all these tourists stopped coming how many jobs would be lost eh. All the holiday park staff all the b&b owners all the arcades and little shops,how many pubs would close down how many people would lose their jobs and their homes. It would be interesting to know how many more devonians feel the same way. So yes in my opinion Mr copp is a total idiot ,but is far surpassed in the idiot stakes by chrisdg

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  • ilfjo  |  September 03 2011, 12:00PM

    Ridiculous,. Does he think all his food comes in packets? If does not have to be caught and killed first? God help the kids if they go shopping with him. They will die in the food aisles

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