Tag Archives: Scotland

No auction at Peterhead Fish Market after boycott by processors

The Aberdeenshire town is the biggest white fish port in Europe and the market is one of the largest. The dispute centres around Peterhead Port Authority’s decision to stop certain buying practices which it said are anti-competitive. It operates as a traditional shout auction with processors bidding for boxes of fish landed at the harbour. Until recently, as part of that, the practice of so-called bid sharing or ringing was commonly used, which is when buyers sometimes bid in groups rather than individually. However, Peterhead Port Authority, which runs the market, is putting a stop to this. >click to read< 07:29

House of Lords peer calls for Holy Island fishing ban proposal to be dropped

Lord Curry of Kirkhale, who sits in the House of Lords, has written to environment secretary Thérèse Coffey to express concerns about Defra plans to designate it a Highly Protected Marine Area (HPMA). There has been strong local opposition to the proposal, backed by Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan and county councillors Colin Hardy and Guy Renner-Thompson. Lord Curry, in a letter to the secretary of state, writes: “A HMPA ban on fishing would, as Holy Island’s fishermen and residents have expressed, end a thousands-of-years-old industry which still stands at the heart of their community today.” >click to read< 09:48

The moment an Ayrshire fishing crew rescue another boat off the coast of Arran in horrific conditions

The moment an Ayrshire fishing crew saved fellow fishermen in horrific conditions has been captured in dramatic footage. The F/V Spes Bona crew from Troon hauled a stricken trawler which had broken down off the coast of Arran on Monday. The failed boat, with three crew members of board, was towed nine miles through ferocious conditions as stormy weather battered the Firth of Clyde. A video showing the hair-raising rescue has gone viral, chalking up more than 4,000 views in just a matter of days, with viewers left stunned by the footage. But Spes Bona captain Donald Gibson says the scenes are a regular occurrence out in the open seas. Video, >click to read< 10:01

Simple solution found to reduce number of whales getting caught in fishing gear

A working group has come up with a simple solution to use heavier sinking rope connecting fishing creels, which will in turn reduce entanglements. At the moment, creel fishermen often use rope that floats, in which whales, dolphins and other marine animals can become entangled in. Creels, also known as pots, are connected by ropes, which are set around Scotland’s coasts to catch prawns, crabs and lobsters. During the project, commercial creel fishermen from all around the Scottish coast were interviewed and their contribution allowed the researchers to better understand the nature and extent of entanglements in Scotland’s waters. The findings have been published in the journal Endangered Species Research. >click to read< 12:11

The Hairy Bikers hailed as ‘brilliant’ as they visit family-run fishing business in Ayrshire

A sixth generation fishing family from Ayrshire will shine a spotlight on Scottish seafood as they share the screen with celebrity chef collective The Hairy Bikers in a new series. Troon’s Spes Bona Superior Seafood, run by brothers Donald and Robin Gibson, will feature alongside Si King and Dave Myers in their new BBC Two series. The fishing firm have waited patiently for over a year and a half to see what Si and Dave create with their catch as filming took place in May 2021. Dad-of-three skipper Donald, who has worked in the industry for over 30 years, said: “We got a phone call out of the blue and I thought it was a customer so I was asking them what they wanted. “They said ‘no it’s for a TV show, we’re looking to get some guys out on your boat’. >click to read< 09:26

Report finds Reul a Chuain tragedy stresses importance of wearing a PFD

On the evening of 24 June 2021, the 18-metre Reul a Chuain (OB915) was on passage with three crew to Mallaig, Scotland when a deckhand fell overboard in adverse weather while trying to recover one of the vessel’s nets, which had slipped over the stern during heavy rolling. The skipper attempted to recover him from the water but also fell overboard. Neither of them were wearing personal flotation devices. Both men were recovered by the inexperienced remaining crew member. The skipper was unresponsive and, despite efforts by the vessel’s crew and search and rescue personnel, he could not be revived. >click to read< 11:29

Fishing Vessel Review: Euroclydon – Scottish Designed Vivier Crabber Delivered to Devon Owner

Macduff Ship Design of Scotland has confirmed the recent completion and delivery of a new crab fishing vessel to owner Stuart MacDougall of Devon-based fishing company Euroclydon. The newbuild, which is also named Euroclydon, is the second Macduff-designed crab fishing vessel built for the same owner in the space of only three years. Euroclydon features many similarities to MacDougall’s first vessel, Levanter, with a similar arrangement throughout. However, with increased length, beam, and depth, the newer vessel provides noticeably more space all around to enhance crew comfort, seakeeping, and fishing activity. Photos, specifications, >click to read< 16:41

Dumfries and Galloway trawler boss who told crew to keep fishing after colleague injured fined £13,500

A callous trawler boss who told a crew to keep fishing instead of seeking medical help for an injured colleague has been fined £13,500. Thomas Nicholson insisted crewman Joel Quince, who had been knocked unconscious and was bleeding heavily from a head wound, needed only painkillers and a hot drink. As a result, there was a delay of almost 12 hours before the scallop dredger Philomena headed back to shore. Even then the injured man had to phone a seaman’s mission to arrange transport to hospital. >click to read< 08:28

Monkfish win for Scottish fleet after UK-Norway talks

A deal struck between the UK and Norway will help to offset “over-precautionary” catch advice affecting monkfish catches in the North Sea. The bilateral talks between the two countries have delivered fishing opportunities for the Scottish fleet in 2023. Agreements on access and quota exchanges of fish stocks were signed. Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “Reaching this deal provides certainty and clarity between the parties for the year ahead. “Due to over-precautionary catch advice from Ices… that industry considers to be unjustified, the inward transfer of monkfish from Norway is to be welcomed. >click to read< 18:02

A fisherman has died in the hospital after he was rescued from a sinking fishing boat

Emergency crews raced to Luce Bay near to Port William, Newton Stewart, yesterday afternoon. Officers also scrambled to the area after the alarm was raised at around 4.30pm. The man was rushed to Galloway Community Hospital in an ambulance. But police confirmed that he tragically passed away this morning. They have launched a probe into the incident to establish the full circumstances behind the death. Photos, >click to read< 12:19

Poll shows overwhelming numbers of the public support local fishing

Overwhelming numbers of the public believe the government should not be allowed to squeeze fishing communities out of our seas, a fishing body has said. In polling carried out for the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) by JL Partners, 78 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: “governments should ensure that fishing communities are not squeezed out of our increasingly crowded seas”, with only four per cent disagreeing. The survey follows a report for the SFF and National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), published this year, which showed that more than half of Scottish waters could be closed to trawling by 2050. >click to read< 10:14

I rescued a bird at sea and now I’m getting called the Owl Whisperer

Michael Clark, 55, saved the struggling animal after he spotted it being terrorised by gulls. He took it onboard trawler Benarkle II, which is registered in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, where it was spoiled. After two days it was eating steak out of his hand but it caused an unexpected problem when it pooped all over the wheelhouse. Cook and deckhand MIchael, from Buckie, Moray, said: “Everyone is calling me the Owl Whisperer now. He was the best looked after member of the crew. 4 Photos, >click to read< 10:18

SFA: No evidence that a fishing vessel caused telecom cable damage

Shetland suffered a major blackout last Thursday when the Faroese owned subsea cable, which already was damaged halfway between Faroe and Shetland, got another hit just east of the Shetland mainland – cutting off most mobile and internet based services. While cable owner Faroese Telecom has always said the damage was likely to have been caused by a fishing vessel, a large section of the national media preferred the notion that it could have easily been an example of low-level terrorism by Russia. As repairs are likely to last into the weekend due to poor weather conditions, no-one has so far published any evidence that would support one option or the other. >click to read< 12:21

Owl rescued by fishing crew 100 miles out to sea

A long-eared owl shocked crew on board a fishing boat over 100 miles off the north coast of Scotland. The bird was rescued by a crew member who spotted it being attacked by seagulls. It suffered minor injuries but was cared for by the team on board Peterhead-registered Benarkle II for the rest of their trip. It is believed the owl had been blown off its normal course before landing on the boat. The Benarkle II crew said the poorly creature perked up a great deal after being “beefed up” with some chopped steak. Photos, >click to read< 21:51

Celestial Dawn – Custom Designed Prawn Trawler for Scottish North Sea Fisherman

A new prawn fishing vessel designed by Macduff Ship Design has been delivered to owner and boat captain George Hepburn of Peterhead in the north-east of Scotland. Celestial Dawn replaces Hepburn’s earlier similarly named vessel, which was delivered in 2000. Like its predecessor, the new Celestial Dawn will be used to trawl for prawns in the North Sea. The newbuild is also the first of a planned series of three trawlers. The design of Celestial Dawn began in 2018. Although intended to fish in a similar way to the owner’s previous vessel, the design of the new vessel was focused on both enhancing crew comfort and improving fuel efficiency. Photos, >click to read< 07:56

Four rescued from raft as coastguard scrambled after boat runs aground

The crew of a fishing boat has been rescued from a life raft after the vessel ran aground off the coast of Aberdeenshire. Coastguard teams from Fraserburgh and Peterhead were dispatched to the incident involving the Ocean Maid BA55 at Cairnbulg shortly after 5.50am on Monday morning. The Fraserburgh RNLI boat was also scrambled to aid in the operation, though the crew was said to be “fine” after an initial check by Scottish Ambulance Service responders. Video, >click to read< 12:31

Fiber-optic Submarine Cable near Faroe and Shetland Islands Damaged; Mediterranean Cables also Cut

Last week the SHEFA-2 undersea cable linking the Faroe Islands to mainland Scotland via the Shetland and Orkney Islands was damaged in two separate incidents leaving much of the islands without internet connection. In the south of France three key subsea cables connecting the city of Marseille to Lyon, Milan, and Barcelona were purposely cut, the cable’s operator reported, impacting internet connectivity worldwide. While French authorities suspect an act of sabotage, their Scottish counterparts remain more cautious about what caused the damage to the cables. Similar to the Svalbard cable incidents, in which Russian fishing vessels passed repeatedly over the areas where the cables were located, police investigating the Faroe and Shetland incidents suggested that it was likely fishing vessels, which damaged the cables. >click to read< 09:19

Shetland completely cut off from mainland as phones, internet and computers hit by blackout

Communications in Shetland have been completely shut down with phones, internet and computers in a total blackout after the south subsea cable between the islands and the mainland was cut. Police have declared a major incident and are patrolling to try and reassure residents, telling them they still may be able to call 999 in an emergency even without signal. ‘We don’t know the cause yet. These things have happened in the past with catastrophic effect. ‘It is not unknown and usually it is because a trawler picks up the line on the seabed and pulls it up and breaks it. >click to read< 09:19

Scrabster in top three in Scotland as fishing activity outperforms national average

Fishing activity at Scrabster outperformed the national average last year and the port is now in the top three in Scotland, newly released figures have shown. However, while the Caithness harbour has recovered well from the “turbulence and volatility” created by Covid-19, continued growth is likely to be hampered by fuel costs and other challenges. Marine Scotland’s Scottish Fisheries Statistics 2021 give details of fish landings at every port in the country. The harbour is the third most important port/district in Scotland, after Peterhead and Shetland.  >click to read< 09:55

Rescuers thanked after Peterhead fishing boat sank off Shetland

Rescuers have been praised after eight crew members were saved when a fishing boat sank following a collision with another vessel. The Peterhead-based Guiding Star went down following the incident with her sister vessel Guiding Light 45 miles (72km) off Shetland on Thursday. Three crew were rescued by the Shetland Coastguard helicopter, and five were taken on board the Guiding Light. The skipper and owners said they wanted to thank all involved. Video, >click to read< 07:50

Post-Covid bounce for fish landings in the islands

The value of fish landings in the Western Isles increased by 21 per cent last year over 2020 according to the newly published Scottish Fisheries Statistics. They have been welcomed as an indication that the islands industry has recovered well from the impact of both Brexit and Covid. Shellfish accounted for almost 90 per cent of the overall catch. The statistics published by Marine Scotland show that the value of fish landings in Stornoway district – which covers the whole of the Outer Isles – rose to £12.2 million, and the tonnage increased by 13 per cent compared to the previous year, to 2,880 tonnes. >click to read< 10:39

New measures announced to boost Scots seafood industry

The Scottish Government has published its first strategy for the seafood sector, detailing how the fishing and aquaculture sectors are being supported to remain internationally competitive and attract skills and talent to some of Scotland’s most rural and coastal areas – despite the challenges of the post-Brexit trading environment. The strategy also highlights ongoing work to monitor and manage the marine space, so that consumers can have confidence in the sustainability of Scottish seafood. >click to read< 07:49

Eight crew ‘safe and well’ after fishing vessel sinks following collision with another vessel

The crew of the Peterhead based F/V Guiding Star H360 declared a mayday before abandoning ship to a life-raft after a collision with another vessel – their sister boat F/V Guiding LightHM Coastguard coordinated the response after being alerted just after 12pm today (6 October). The coastguard helicopter based at Sumburgh was a key part of the rescue effort, with rescue teams from both Sumburgh and Lerwick waiting to support if required. Other vessels nearby also responded to calls for help. All crew members were accounted for after being picked up by assisting vessels and the coastguard helicopter. >click to read< 19:37

Skipper keeps it ‘reel’ for new Trawlermen series

A Well-known Banffshire fisherman is set to feature in the latest series of BBC2’s Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch. John Clark, will take to the small screen next week when the spotlight falls on the work of his twin rig trawler Reliance III and her crew. “Last year the film company, Frank Films, approached me again and asked if they could do some filming on the boat. “I was up for it but I asked them to do the filming in winter, to get the camera guys on board the boat when it’s Force 8 or 9 gales not flat calm so people can see what fishing is really like and why it can be so dangerous. “I’ve got to take my hat off to them, though. The weather was horrendous – it was Force 10 at one point – but they were great, they held themselves really well. Photos, >click to read< 19:54

Pelagic Partnership Takes Delivery of New Artemis 

The latest pelagic vessel to join the Scottish fleet has been built for a partnership that began fishing with the 64-metre former Resolute, which became Artemis for its new owners back in 2020. The partnership of Interfish subsidiary Northbay Fishing Company and the Wiseman Fishing Company, headed by Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA) chairman Alex Wiseman, have now taken delivery of the new Artemis, skippered by Adam Wiseman. The new vessel’s hull was built at the Karstensen Shipyard Poland and arrived in Skagen in February 2022 for outfitting. It sailed from the yard in Skagen in early September, headed straight for fishing grounds and started its fishing career on herring. Some fine photos, >click to read< 13:31

Scots fishers urge ministers to resist campaign for giant freezer trawler

The UK Government is being urged to ignore a “concerted campaign” to deprive Scottish fishers of quota in favour of a huge, foreign-owned freezer trawler operating out of a British port. Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association chief executive Ian Gatt and Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins said lobbying by the vessel’s owner, East Yorkshire-based UK Fisheries, to secure more fish “must be resisted”. Mr Gatt said: “This vessel operates out of Hull, but is owned primarily by Dutch and Icelandic interests, is largely operated by a non-UK crew and processes its catch on board. >click to read< 09:31

Shetland fishermen on the big screen in campaign to highlight sustainable seafood

Scottish fishermen are playing a starring role in a new television advert for a nationwide campaign to support sustainable fishing practices and promote healthy seafood stocks. The commercial has been created for the Marine Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organisation which sets science-based standards for sustainable practices and runs a globally recognised ecolabel and certification program to help guide consumers. It features fishermen from Shetland who operate an acclaimed local initiative which aims to balance commercial needs with conservation of the marine environment and has been released to coincide the MSC’s annual Sustainable Seafood Week, which runs until Friday. >click to read< 09:58

From salt cod to silver darlings, how Shetland became a fishing powerhouse

It was Monday, 16 July, 1832, and for the fishermen on the east side of Shetland, the idyllic summer scene, one of the most beautiful mornings of the summer so far meant conditions were perfect for heading for the open sea, on the hunt for cod. Barely eaten by Scots today, dried, salted fish was once a staple part of the national diet and a massive export business, demand was at a peak from Spain and Portugal. What the fishermen on Shetland’s east coast did not realise on that July day, however, was a heavy Atlantic swell had formed to the west – often an ominous sign of a severe storm on the way. The storm raged for five days, putting the entire fleet in jeopardy and picking off one sixern after the next. >click to read< 10:33

Berried lobster catches could force ban on fishermen

Shetland will enforce Scotland’s first ban on landing egg-bearing lobsters in a conservation move driven by local fishermen. The new regulation agreed by the Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation outlaws the practice of boats keeping so-called berried lobsters, which carry many thousands of eggs. SSMO say that preventing the removal of these lobsters will help protect the spawning stock needed for a sustainable fishery. SSMO inshore co-ordinator John Robertson said: “This ban is seen by many fishermen as a positive way they can boost stocks in the absence of a lobster hatchery in Shetland. “It was the fishermen who called for the ban and they backed it in a vote conducted last year by the SSMO. >click to read< 13:10

Naming ceremony for new fishing vessels held at Macduff

A special naming ceremony took place on the quays of Macduff Harbour celebrating the building of two new fishing trawlers – Endeavour V and Venture IV. Owned and operated by Whitehills-based brothers Peter and Mark Lovie and partners, these trawlers have the distinction of being the largest produced by Macduff Shipyards to date. The memorable day was organised by the Lovie family and included a large group of guests including many of the businesses involved in both the building and operation of the vessels. Photos, >click to read< 10:03