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

Three days in the life.

Was going to post last night as a wind down from a shift at the pub but as it turned out I crashed about 20 mins after coming home. Busy last few days with a pub shift on thursday evening followed by a fishing day on Friday and another shift last night. The M.O.D. are still up doing trials on the range and I had the Merlin helicopter fly over me a few times on Friday. Although fishermen are not the navy’s best friends we co-exist quite happily. I really do not understand the logic of nuclear submarines, especially the bit about spending huge amounts of money on something you cannot use, I enjoy the unintended consequences of a better fishing around the range. This is basically an MPA (marine protected area) which most fishermen are against. There is an area where there are 17 hydrophones set up on the seabed with cables running from them to the Sand building where the operations are directed. This is closed off to all types of fishing with a surrounding no trawl area and the fishing does appear to be a bit better although it is still too heavily fished. It was a difficult day fishing but we did catch a few prawns despite a hydraulic pipe burst and a seized connection. I had to go into a bit of shelter to free it before carrying on hauling. Good result in that Hamish got his squats in sweet chilli sauce. I get far more pleasure seeing the seafood caught off Applecross and eaten locally. Although sometimes you get more money sending your products round the world I do not think this is sustainable in our unbalanced carbon world.

Good shift to work last night, Kenny and Dave were on the cookers last night and the food, as ever, was spectacular. There is food being served at the Inn for pub food prices where, if you were in Edinburgh for example, you would be paying double for less. The competition was the theme of the night as a group of five turned up looking for accommodation. The Inn was full but they went to the campsite and booked one of the cabins. When they came back down for something to eat I picked up on an accent and told them about the staff competition where we have guessed how many countries come to the Inn over the year. To cut to the chase it turned out that Uruguay, Japan, Latvia, Poland, and Israel were the make up of the group. It is quite amazing that in the beginning of March there have been people from 22 different countries already visited.

While walking the Dougal family yesterday morning you look around and see so much unused potential for people to live and work here. Before I came out I was emailed George Mombiot’s take on the Gamekeeper’s report on employment and sundries connected to the red deer of Scotland. He points out that in the whole county of Sutherland there are only 112 people employed with an income generated of 1.6 million pounds. He suggests it is difficult to find such an under used land mass anywhere else in the world. I have always believed that mono-cultures are really bad for a diverse environment and we seem to be surrounded by them whether it be sheep or deer overgrazing on land or the prawn trawling industry at sea. On land the bio-diversity has already disappeared where even the peat bogs are being degraded. There are signs this may be changing but it has to change with the people in mind. It does not have to be an either or. After living properly we are a part of the environment. Some institutions tend to forget this. We receive  a regular email on Fridays from Laurence who is part of Senscot. He is working in a very optimist field, that of social enterprise, but holds a pessimistic view on life. He basically views the system we live in as broken and he often wonders what will emerge. Opinions are just that but I tend to agree with him and that is why working with The  Community Company is so fulfilling. I think this is the way ahead to arrest the decline of the past few decades, at least locally. A vibrant community is the answer to many of our day-to-day difficulties.

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