Every now and again something happens that you find hard to put into words but I think that the events that took place in Connecticut probably trigger many people’s thoughts on their own loss. It just seems so unnatural when an offspring dies before their parents and in my case I am pretty sure that when my sister died in a car crash south of Fort William my mum and dad never fully recovered from the blow. It does not matter how old your children are you cannot help but be apprehensive when they decide to white water kayak or skydive and you just push all the scenarios out of your mind. When it happens it must make life incomprehensible and this event is world news because it took place in the US of A. There must be innumerable events taking place across the “Third World” day after day where the tragedy is as complete but we do not hear about them. The struggle for these people to readjust their lives must be immense.
Back to the triviality of life in Applecross and its surrounds. On the way back from Kyle on friday it was back via Shieldaig for a massage and then a call to get an update on the latest IFG meeting on wednesday. Seems there is a stronger voice growing from the creel sector who are no longer prepared to get walked over by the larger sections of the industry. This year we saw the large east coast twin rig trawlers come over to fish in the Minch and use up the west coast quota. Naturally there was a strong reaction from the west coast trawler fleet who were most affected by this new influx of boats. There are two factors in the west coast prawn quota…the tonnage you are allowed to catch annually and the effort you use to catch the prawns, this is called the kilowatt days and if you run out of either you end up with a shut down fishery. At the time I thought it was a bit of rough justice for this sector (the smaller west coast trawl fleet) that had given the static gear men such a hard time over the last three decades but still agreed that the larger boats be kept under some sort of control. Suddenly all the trawl arguments used against the creels are nullified by larger boats coming onto their patches. Arguments like we need to work the seabed to release the nutrients etc are put aside as this is what the larger boats are doing as well…cannot use that argument now. The pressure on limiting creel numbers has been exposed now as coming from the mobile sector just as a way to get creels off the grounds to give them more ground to trash, sorry should have said trawl. The creel men have convinced Marine Scotland that we are in favour of limitations but with spatial management limits, that is do not replace freed up ground with the mobile sector. And at last there is a growing call for a reinstatement of the three-mile limit, a call to amend the biggest environmental disaster on our fishing grounds over the last thirty years. This has resulted in fewer prawns and scallops and no fish, allowing the mobile sector in to the shore. Also we are attempting to be allowed to catch herring and mackerel for local markets and bait. This is being strenuously fought against by the wealthiest and most powerful fisher men, the pelagic sector. It seems we are now getting a hearing on these matters as well. It is a long road and nothing will happen over night but the sight of these boats hopefully will become fewer. It is satisfying that your own view is being expressed as a majority view now but a shame it takes the decimation of yet another fishery to get your view across but hopefully we are on the right road. I suspect that the same will happen on land as the ideas and opinions are based on the collective benefit and not for the personal gain of a few uninterested in the concept of community.
It has been a little slow on the work front but we are doing a catch up little by little on the book front, wood is almost there and we had a really good shift at the Inn last night. A curry night sorted by Aron took place and was very busy with 60+ curries shifted and with lots of praise and compliments. Although I left around half ten many people were already leaving, a sign that lots of curry had been enjoyed and no one had any room for any drink!! I managed a selection of Beef Bhuna,Hyderabi Lamb and chicken Korma followed by a Kulfis, traditional Indian ice cream. Had the mango yesterday and managed a pistachio one today, both taste sensations. By the time I got to them we had run out of Lychees and Jaleb but the orange was fine.