Week ends are for recovery but not if it is summer and you work shifts at the Inn. Never mind, a good comatose night’s sleep and it was back on the water. That was after landing the large and extra-large for Sean to pick up to see them through the day till I landed later in the afternoon. When I did Steve told me they only had a starter portion left!! Another fairly uneventful day with just one fleet shot over to sort and another that had to be joined together as it was in two, but apart from these minor things it was another fairly poor day’s fishing although when I hauled the first ten creels of the first fleet of the day it was looking very rosy.
Some of these creels brought back memories of how the fishing used to be when you were cheesed off if you were not averaging 7/8 kilo of good quality langoustine per fleet. It is that difficult balance where you know that the environment is struggling to cope with what you do to it while it still looks after you by allowing you to make a comfortable, if tiring living.The only other note of interest was the first creel caught mackerel came on board, hopefully a sign that there will be more activity in the Sound over the next month or so.
I was sent some photos taken to the North of Applecross by a scallop diver and shows what is left behind when dredgers come through your locale.
This is something I bang on about a bit but it is good to get it out there. Most people look across the Sound and they see a beautiful stretch of water surrounded by stunning landscape and have little knowledge of what goes on on the seabed. How, we, as fishermen carry out activities that put the environment right to the edge of collapse. At least with creels it is a relatively selective form of fishing and most of what you cannot sell or eat can go back live and you leave the environment relatively undamaged.
Creeling if carried out with impunity can be part of this but as you see in today’s photo what can be caught with passive fishing methods and compare to what is left behind as a dredger comes in after scallops. The fact is that the dredger catches the most scallops on the third or fourth run. This is a result of the dredges levelling the ground so they can get to the scallops which tend to lie between the ridges.
What a way to fish. I remember either Reporting Scotland or Landward showing photos of dredged ground a couple of years ago and the only statement from the Scallop Dredgers Association was that the photos were photo shopped and it was a set up.
These photos were only taken in a ten square metres area of seabed and I was told that this destruction stretched out of sight in both directions but due to lighting conditions could not be shown clearly.
Unless legislation is passed to give the environment some sort of protection we will not have one that will provide anything of substance to survive on.