31st January 2006


Port Isaac Breakwaters Long Overdue Renovation


Not many people know that the small fishing village of Port Isaac on the North Cornwall coast is one of the leading shell fishing ports of the West Country, its peculiar speciality being the lobster and spider crab.  Large quantities are exported every year to France and Spain.


Port Isaac’s harbour is one of the most exposed on the North Coast and its small but modern fishing fleet has received some protection from its two breakwaters, which were built in the 1920s.  The Eastern breakwater takes the brunt of the pounding from the open Atlantic and has been badly in need of repairs for many years.  Not only do the breakwaters give some protection to the boats, they also protect the village itself although at Spring tides the bottom of the village does still flood occasionally.


After many years of trying, the Port Isaac Harbour Commissioners secured funding to carry out essential renewal works to the Eastern breakwater, which are now complete.  The project has been funded by a number of agencies and organisations including: Objective One, DEFRA, Cornwall County Council, North Cornwall District Council, St Endellion Parish Council and Port Isaac Harbour Commissioners, to a sum in excess of a quarter of a million pounds.


The Chairman of the Harbour Commissioners, Mr Dugald Sproull said, “the completion of the essential renewal works to the breakwater will ensure that Port Isaac’s fishing fleet will remain viable and also contributes to the protection of the village itself.  Not only is a working fishing fleet important in its own right, but it provides one of the major attractions to visitors to the village”.


It is interesting to note that exactly 80 years ago it was reported to Bodmin Rural Council (the predecessor to the North Cornwall District Council) that recent floods had caused ruts in the road two feet deep and the Council decided to “support the proposed harbour scheme on the grounds that it would keep the sea out”.


For further details relating to the project please contact the Clerk to the Port Isaac Harbour Commission –