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

People and Prawns.

Lots of contrast and variety over the last couple of days. Left for Inverness at eight on Friday to attend an overdue IFG meeting at Great Glen House, the first to be chaired by Richard Greene. Lovely display of “Yellow on the Broom”, especially around the Achanalt part of the journey.

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The North West IFG now goes down past the Small Isles and there are now a number of new associations who will now be coming along. Quite interesting meeting as NTS were doing a presentation about MPAs, basically areas where there will be fishing restrictions on environmental grounds. There is always a fear of civil servants who want to impose rules and regulations impinging on fishermen’s livelihoods. Not informing is one of their worst sins that they keep doing and we were given a list of consulting that is going to happen. There are no MPAs planned in our area although we have one that works very well…the BUTEC Range. Bit of an expensive way to conserve prawns but you take what you can get. Intelligent questions put to the NTS officials and hopefully they will heed the Chair’s request for communication. Some tricky subjects were put on the next meeting’s agenda, like creels limits but only coupled to spatial management. It is quite frustrating that the only thing holding back capping creel numbers is the justified fear that taking creels out of the water will only open the door for increased effort by the mobile fleet.

Meeting was well chaired and finished by 1pm, three hours early and left the afternoon a little more relaxed for a haircut, eye test and Highland Wholefoods. Back relatively early and caught up briefly with Simon and Ian and they had done everything they came to do although speeds are slower with the new lines installed. Do not know why, but they speed up over the next two weeks and installations are under way. Promised to deliver  the barbecue unit to Sand, I think for the Sunday School ,and that was duly done as was a farewell to our German friends.

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Missed out on the Applestock volunteer party as there is just so much one can do and a day’s fishing and shift at the Inn planned.

Lovely quiet, grey fishing day and managed to haul 400 creels for a pretty decent fishing up by the Range.

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The size was bigger and still caught a few kilo of small prawns for the Inn. Squats may be fishing a little better again. Was called up by the watch keeper first thing and I headed straight to the Range to haul these fleets first and get out of the ways for trials that were due to start at mid day. It is good to get help from these guys and you try to reciprocate to make their job a little easier.

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A couple of subs about and support vessels appeared on the scene from Kyle. Always strikes me how sinister these vessels are and how strange they look in their beautiful surrounds.

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Landed by 4pm and an hour to recover before going up to the Inn with a little dread as the weather was too poor for eating out and a 27 booked in at 6.30 and a 10 at 8 + all the usual residents and walk ins. I really do not know how it works but it does and it is a phenomenon. Felt a wee bit stressed as there were only two of us out front and the place was literally heaving. Not a table to be had all night and you still had to keep an eye out for the residents to seat them when they were booked. But as usual the kitchen comes up trumps again and again. Compliments flying in from residents, from the guiness soaked Whitby bikers, the Westfield Club, the Adelaide Aussies, Aussie Rules so could not have any Lions banter but still tried, and just about everyone else. 25 steaks went out on the evening and I quietly disappeared as the staff birthday girls were getting under way. It was pretty noisy and young night. Bit of a throw back to when the Boss was young. Not saying that she is old but she does party less. It will be good to see her back at work today and just as well as I am not sure if there will be any one else. Weather is grim so it will be inside for every one. So ends such a contrasting day where I was either surrounded by fulmars and skuas or people.

Comments on: "People and Prawns." (2)

  1. Gordon MacKenzie said:

    Hello there, Just read your blog for the first time and really enjoying your writing on a variety of topics. Glad to hear the fishing is picking up the squats and prawns haven’t disappeared forever. I was home in Plockton this weekend, after spending the last four of the past five summers fishing out of the village, I was amazed to hear that after months of poor prawns and crabs, two of the lads that I used to fish with have now started fishing commercially for dog-whelks! We used to get them in creels all the time, and I once took some home for my mum’s pot, but I never knew that they were a commercially viable fishery. I’m interested to know if there are any boats around your way that fish for these creatures too?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      One or two of the Kyle/Kyleakin boats have gone over to them but no one up this way. It usually a bad sign when the prawn boats go over to the whelks. I am slightly better off by fishing for so long have built a little safety net and the bank does not own me any more so a little more resilient. Fishing part time and the Inn as well means I really enjoy both so there is a little time for other things to keep you fresh and interested. Glad you enjoyed the blog. Played football against your Dad and Uncle many years ago and had a few in the back bar after the games. Big Plockton/kyle rivalry then. Cheers.

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