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

Turquoise Seas

So far this week it has taken place mainly at sea. We are experiencing a wide-spread algal/plankton bloom which is giving the seas here a beautiful turquoise colouring.


My limited knowledge of these occurrences are that basically the ones you see are great for feeding as are the dinoflagellates, less visible, but when they die they give off toxins which the bivalves feed off and ingest and those are harmful to us. The scallops and mussels are fine and when we were scallop farming back in the 90s the toxins hardly entered the mussel (white meat) of the scallop. Our gripe with the testing regime was they tested the whole animal, the liver, intestines and anal tract finding lots of toxins so shutting down whole areas for harvesting. Testing something you do not eat to find for toxins was a daft way to protect the public but it happened to be the latest food scare. The catch yesterday showed severe signs of disappearing although on reflection it was deep water and not the cleanest of creels. Today a little shallower fishing and they were back to good quantities.


Still finding a large number of octopodes, I have been wrong in calling them octopi seemingly.


They could be octopuses but I prefer the former. Despite their delight at scoffing large quantities of langoustine they still go back over. Very artistic as they disappear back to the deep, leaving an ink trail behind.


29th of June the new Bylaw was enacted that doubled the size of the BUTEC Range, despite what our Defence Minister said in Parliament. With all the chaos everywhere this does not even register a footnote In anything other than our local press. It is news in papers like the WHFP, however it did appear in the National yesterday. You feel totally powerless against the Establishment regime. It is worth pointing out that the  Range managing company, Qinetic, is a privately run organisation which runs at a profit for its shareholders. I have a licence to fish for langoustine, for profit also, on the waters off my shores and now this Company has had a law enacted that has taken this right away from me and other small operators. The area we can no longer fish in is now over 52 square kilometres. If this happened on land then it would be called compulsory purchase and users, we are not owners, would be compensated. Qinetic to pursue profit for their shareholders are doing so in part preventing me and others from making a living from this section of previously accessed grounds. But for the sake of national Security and the pursuance of profit we have not got a leg to stand on it seems.

At the Inn it is busy and the Scottish schools have broken for the holidays so it will not get any quieter. Good Sunday music session with Sally on whistles, Mo on bodhran, John vocals and Bill guitar and vocals. Enjoyed by all even the wee one in the corner woke up for some.


One of our prep room stars is getting very excited about the Euros 2016 as Portugal and Rinaldo are still there, not sure he dresses well for the occasion though.


We have the European flags flying on both sides of the Inn now and to be fair views are not clear-cut at all. The chaos down south continues but I watched a really interesting view from the north of England, around Doncaster where they voted out but for different reasons than the oft-repeated migration issues. Sure they were a factor but they also felt they had nothing to lose and use their vote to tell the Establishment what they thought of them. It goes back to the de-industrialisation of whole swathes of areas leaving the younger folk with little hope, no jobs and few future prospects. Mines, steel manufacturing which were the reasons for these town to exist does not happen any more. Interesting to hear that MainStream media interviewed and edited the UK discontent out but concentrated on the migration issues. Hearing that May, the leading PM contender, wants quick decisions on Trident renewal you can understand that things are not feeling too rosy at the moment. Add in a wee family trauma that only time will heal plus having to keep a close eye on the Hydro there is not much spare time. But it is not all doom as our Cambridge Festival Tickets are here and the last week in July is earmarked for unadulterated musical pleasure.

Comments on: "Turquoise Seas" (2)


    I am very puzzled what is happening on the west coast at the Applecross area. I attended a good few meetings when we were a member of the S C FF and the west coast associations where a 100% in favour of marine protected areas and they were also wanting a three mile limit to keep the mobile boats so that they could have all to themselves. In my book that is very selfish especially when the M.O.D. has created a M P A to stop all kind of fishing)( which I thought they would have been in favour with after what happened in the past but no it,s affecting us this time which is a different story. SELFISH NO I DON,T THINK THAT the name for it.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Maybe you are right Albert, maybe I am selfish, that is for you and others to decide. I have never advocated anyone to stop fishing but for them not to use fishing methods that are damaging to the long term environment of the fishing grounds. We can go into a long debate to what they are but I base my views on the disappearance of the inshore fish stocks on the opening up of the three mile limit. The rise and demise of the inshore trawl fleet is testament to this. MPAs are to protect the environment from such practices as dredging and hence allowing immature sea life to thrive. It does not prohibit selective and sustainable fishing. The MoD closure is for the MoD and takes no interest, economic or environmental, in the local fishing economy. And the bottom line for me is Trident, which this is tied to, is an obscene waste of public money. I may be wrong but think tying this closure into the politics of MPAs is disingenuous to say the least. Thanks for the comment and it keeps me thinking. The more we discuss and share views the better for all.

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