A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Community essentials

Weather has been pretty poor again and threatens to be all week. Plenty to do although can space it out over the week. If by the end of the week a fleet of creels are mended, my hauler is back on the boat and working, I have dived for prawns, written the Community Company minutes, caught up with the Pier invoices and VAT, I’ll get to watch some Six Nations rugby on saturday. Already building up a bit of Scottish optimism. The wet stock reconciliation at the Filling Station and a break down has already been done today so we are of to a flyer. Working a couple of shifts later this week at the Inn. It looks an impressive list but there are lots of people doing similar stuff in the community. Village Hall committee was on tonight. I got bored doing the Com Company minutes so stopped to do a post. Funny I look forward to posting now although my technical abilities are fairly limited. The Vancouver post took ages but was enjoyable. The more you post the more you realise there is.

The creels will be done on thursday along with the hauler and hopefully my dive. When we fish for the prawns I store the boxes hanging over the side of the boat and in the past a couple have come free. I have circumvented this,or so I thought, by putting up to four boxes in a cage tying this up and hanging them all together. This worked fine until last week-end when a combination of a strong north westerly and a weak rope meant prawns ended up on the seabed. Found most of them yesterday but ran out of air and getting a fill of Bob so will be back in the water for thursday.. It was a bit of a sight me leaving the Inn yesterday zipped up by Mark in my dry suit to go off for my dive. A few wise cracks followed me out the door.

Off to Inverness tomorrow to another Fisheries management meeting. These meetings have been the result of a government initiative to bring a bit of structure to the inshore fishing grounds around Scotland. They have been progressing slowly but have hit a wall recently as the local coordinators have just been told they are not getting their contracts renewed. Very disjointed politics. I am not really surprised as I have dealt with the civil service so many times in the past and have not been impressed. The long view is not part of the equation when politicians get involved. At least the creelmen are at the table. Before the mobile sector could say whatever they wanted and up till now it has not been challenged. A bit different now and if what they have been saying was correct where are the fish. Trawling inshore waters does not work longterm. I have read Calum Robert’s book The Unnatural History of the Sea. Although it has a positive message at the end saying we have the potential to sort it out it tells of the mess we have made of the oceans. Meeting up with Andrea Nightingale on friday from the Geography Department of Edinburgh University. She has been around several times and is very interested in the community side of coastal communities. She is coming with Ruth Brennan who works at SAMS at Dunstaffnage near Oban and is also working with coastal communities, local knowledge of sea conditions etc. Very fortunate to meet with these guys who give you a different perspective and give you a fresh impetus on how you go about things.

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