Photographer's Note

The stretch of shingle beach from which the fishing fleet launches has been known as the Stade (the Saxon term for landing place) for over a thousand years.

In 1896, a new Hastings Harbour was built which stopped shingle moving out along the coast. Over time, the shingle accumulated and steadily grew outwards until it created enough beach space for the fleet.

The steep gradient of the beach means that the fishing boats can slide into the sea at High Tide but they have to be hauled out on their return. This prevents them from being more than ten metres long so they can only carry small amounts of gear over short distances.

Each boat has a Winch Shed which is used to haul the boats out of the sea (before this mechanical miracle, they depended on a capstan and a horse). Tractors are sometimes used to push boats into the sea at Low Tide. Wooden blocks called Troes are laid under the moving boat.

The Fishing Fleet is one of the most exhilarating examples of living history in the United Kingdom, keeping alive a thousand years of techniques and traditions. The Sea Fish Authority described the Stade "as near perfect a fishery as could be devised" because of the environmentally sound methods used by the fishermen (which includes changing their net size to allow young cod to escape and keep stocks high).

Photo Information
Viewed: 3613
Points: 26
Discussions
Additional Photos by Fred LION (Rockyboy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2427 W: 596 N: 3362] (20598)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH