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David Stevens


David Stevens, Crystal Sea

Image | Nina Constable

Boat name

Crystal Sea

Fishing Method

Demersal Trawl

David is a St Ives man who has fishing in his blood. David and his brother Alec skpper the Crystal Sea, a modern 20 meter trawler which is equipped to fish with a twin rig demersal trawl. They work in the southwestern approaches; where the Atlantic Ocean meets the rugged Cornish coast. Demersal trawling is efficient and has allowed David to experiment with trawl designs that improve selectivity, allowing unwanted species and undersized fish to escape. David has taken part in several Fisheries Science Partnership projects, and most recently has been working with the catch quota trials; where CCTV cameras postitioned in sevaral places on the boat record everything caught in order to prove the effectiveness of measures to improve selectivity. David feels that this technology has great potential and that so called 'fully documented fisheries' offer an opportunity for fishermen to prove the results of their efforts to work sustainably. 

The Crystal Sea is a family run business and the Stevens family have been fishermen for many generations. Indeed the vessel is registered to St. Ives as ‘SS 118’ which is an old family registration number, although she now works out of Newlyn. The Crystal Sea goes to sea for 3-5days (depending on the weather) in order to maximise the quality and freshness of their catch. 

Crystal Sea SS118, photograph Laurence Hartwell ©

Fish Caught

Blonde Ray

Blonde Ray

Raja brachyura

Brill by Marc Dando


Scophthalmus rhombus

Cod by Sarah McCartney


Gadus morhua

Cuckoo Ray

Leucoraja naevus

Dab by Marc Dando


Limanda limada



Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Hake by Sarah McCartney


Merluccius merluccius

John Dory

John Dory

Zeus faber

lemon sole

Lemon sole

Microstomus kitt

Lesser spotted dogfish

Lesser spotted dogfish

Scyliorhinus caniculata



Molva molva


Cornish Sole, Megrim

Lepidirhombus whiffogonia

White Monkfish

Monkfish, white

Lophius piscatorius



Pleuronectes platessa

Red Gurnard by Sarah McCartney

Red Gurnard

Aspitrigla cuculus

Striped red mullet

Red mullet

Mullus surmuletus

Sandy ray

Sandy Ray

Leucoraja circularis

Shagreen ray

Leucoraja fullonica

Small eyed ray by Marc Dando

Small eyed ray

Raja microocellata

Starry Smoothound by Marc Dando


Mustelus asterias and Mustelus mustelus

Spotted ray by Marc Dando

Spotted Ray

Raja montagui


Squid, European

Loligo vulgaris

Thornback ray

Thornback ray

Raja clavata



Psetta maximus

Whiting by Marc Dando


Merlangius merlangus

Witch by Marc Dando


Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

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