Career that's all at sea

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They shivered in the biting wind that whipped around the harbour and began to doubt whether they had done the right thing. But eight young men had already signed up to become Britain's first port-based apprentice sea fishermen.

They will be trained on trawlers of the Whitby fleet in North Yorkshire whose skippers have volunteered to teach them to ensure their industry survives. Arnold Locker, who runs Locker's Trawlers and owns seven trawlers, said: "Put bluntly, we were going down a sticky road. Our business alone has invested pounds 1m in boats this year but the industry's got such a negative image we couldn't get the new recruits.

"Captains of fishing vessels have a very different job from 10 years ago. Now it's all computers and satellite navigation systems. We need really qualified people running these boats."

At the end of last year several Whitby fishermen approached a training organisation, the Yorkshire and Humber Ports GTA, and secured the support of the North Yorkshire Training and Enterprise Council.