Tag Archives: Scotland

Galloway creel fishermen believe livelihoods could be ruined by new lobster regulations

Galloway creel fishermen fear their livelihoods could be ruined by new regulations banning them from landing female lobsters. The prohibition, being introduced nationally by the Marine Directorate in Edinburgh, will come into force on Sunday, May 12. It means any hen lobsters caught must be thrown over the side and back into the sea – a move the creel men say will deprive them of at least 50 per cent of their catch and potentially put them out of business. The Galloway Static Gear Fishermen’s Association has been lobbying the Scottish Government that the measure is not needed in the Solway – so far to no avail.  more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 07:40

John Swinney urged to pursue ‘sensible’ policies for fishing

Fishing chiefs have urged the new first minster to “right the wrongs” of the Bute House Agreement and put their industry towards the top of his agenda. New SNP leader John Swinney will likely be sworn in as first minister this week. The appeal for a “reset” by his administration comes as the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) launches its inaugural Industry Trends and Attitudes Report. SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald told The Press and Journal she hopes to gain an early insight into how Mr. Swinney’s team will approach fishing later this week. The report also highlights an “existential challenge” for Scotland’s fishing fleet. And it warns of the dangers of a “spatial squeeze” caused by geographical and regulatory restrictions in the name of conservation and the proliferation of offshore wind farms in traditional fishing grounds. These threaten the livelihoods of “thousands of people in our coastal and island communities”, the report says. more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 16:38

The fishing boat tragedy that rocked a community

Nine fishermen left Peterhead on the boat Quiet Waters in March 1954. None of them came home. The boat sank and their deaths devastated their families and shocked the north-east fishing community. Among those on board was my grandfather Billy Buchan, who was 29 when he died. My mum was just a baby when she lost him. On the 70th anniversary of the tragedy she was given flowers, evidence that our community still remembers an event which shook my town and left that little girl without her dad. Fishing trawler Quiet Waters was only a few months old when she left Peterhead, bound for North Sea herring grounds nearly 200 miles (322km) away. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:40

Fishermen net benefits of being out of CFP as new figures show Scots vessels account for 96% of all landings

Fishermen are continuing to net the benefits of being out of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) after new figures show Scots vessels accounted for 96% of all landings into Scotland last year. The statistics for 2023, published by the Scottish Government for the first time, show vessels based in Scotland accounted for 43,717 landings across the year. The figures come after Peterhead Port set a new record for annual fish landings, with £226 million-worth of catches traded across the quaysides this year. more, >>click to read<< 08:52

Scots fisherman who sold langoustines to Queen, Gordon Ramsay and Simon Cowell up for prestigious award

Ian Wightman, who brings in his catch at Largs Pier, North Ayrshire, has made a name for himself in the sector by specialising in pioneering sustainable methods. He’s now been nominated in the Under 10 Metre Fisherman of the Year category for the 2024 Fishing News Awards, which spans the UK and Ireland. Ian works the Eilidh Anne GK2 vessel with his main catch being Scottish langoustines. The prize is awarded to a UK or Ireland-based fisherman in an under-10m vessel who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the industry. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:36

‘I’m a fisherman in East Lothian and I am fighting for my survival’

An East Lothian fisherman has warned that his industry could ‘disappear’ if governments do not address funding issues. Barry Brunton, 49, who was born and bred in the fishing town of Dunbar, has said fishermen feel let down, angry and fed up at the treatment they have experienced from both Holyrood and Westminster. Despite this, Barry argues that financial support has been non-existent from politicians and he fears that if it is not forthcoming then Scotland could lose one of its oldest industries. “We are fearing for our future. There are four boats that are up for sale in Dunbar since storm Babet which is unheard of. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:42

Fishing Trawler Copious: Fishing boat refloated after running aground in Lerwick harbour

A local whitefish trawler has been refloated on the rising tide in Lerwick Arbour after running aground earlier this afternoon (Wednesday). Coastguard teams, Lerwick lifeboat and Lerwick Port Authority’s pilot boats Knab and Kebister all rushed to the scene after the Copious LK985 became stuck on rocks near the town’s power station. Shetland Coastguard confirmed a short while ago that the KnabKebister and the lifeboat managed to get her afloat and assisted her alongside Mair’s Quay. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 19:01

Fishing boat runs aground in Lerwick harbour

A rescue operation is underway this afternoon (Wednesday) after the local whitefish trawler Copious LK985 ran aground in Lerwick harbour. The incident happened in the shallow waters between the fishing industry hub at Mair’s Pier and the town’s power station. The Copious has seven crew on board. It is understood the the 25 metre vessel, which was delivered only last year, is not taking on water. Coastguard, Lerwick Lifeboat and the Lerwick Port Authority are all at the scene assessing what best to do. Photos, more to follow, >>click to read<< 11:45

Awards 2023: Best Prawn Trawler – Zenith – Macduff Ship Design

Macduff Ship Design fishing boats have charms and attractions all of their own. They are rugged, safe and very economical and long-lasting (as they have to be in Scotland). Built to highly refined designs, they operate in often-terrible weather. In this case, Zenith was designed to fish for prawns out of the delightful port of Fraserburgh on the grey, gloomy North Sea. She is sure to do very well commercially. more, >>click to read<< 09:45

Steaming on sunshine – fishing with solar power

Tayvallich fisherman and boatbuilder Hans Unkles has outfitted 6.40-metre potting boat Lorna Jane to run on solar power. He has owned and skippered nine potting boats, andworks the latest of these on a part-time basis, fishing for lobsters two or three days a week. It was his expertise and a deep interest in renewable energy that led to outfitting Lorna Jane with solar panels to make it the UK’s first fully electric commercial fishing vessel. ‘I worry our fishing industry is missing the boat. With our current trajectory towards Net-Zero our vessels will be worthless. The process of wind and sun creating energy is fascinating to me, so I thought I could be the right person to give it ago,’ Hans Unkles said. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:04

RNLI man is charged over death of fisherman in rescue after the grandfather’s boat was capsized during a rescue

A RNLI volunteer has been charged over the death of a grandfather whose fishing boat capsized during a rescue operation. William Murray McCubbin, 60, was pulled from the water after his vessel sank close to Port William harbour, Wigtownshire, in November 2022. His boat had become stranded on the rocks and efforts were already being made to recover it when it capsized. Mr McCubbin was taken to the Galloway Community Hospital, in Stranraer, but he could not be saved. Police have now arrested and charged a 48-year-old volunteer lifeboat crew member following a 16-month investigation. Yesterday, the family of Mr McCubbin – who was known to friends and relatives as Murray – paid tribute to him and spoke of their hope that the inquiry would provide them with answers. more, >>click to read<< 08:05

Fisherman drowned after being dragged overboard by ‘chain weight’

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) concluded their fatal accident inquiry into the death of John Wilson who died almost three years ago. The inquiry found that the 64-year-old, who lived in St Abbs, was pulled overboard after his foot became entangled in a chain weight on August 28, 2021. Mr. Wilson was on board his boat the Harriet J near Meikle Poo Craig when the incident happened. Following the inquiry, the Sheriff recommended that crew members of single person operated fishing vessels should wear Personal Locator Beacons and Personal Floatation Devices at all times whilst at sea. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 14:38

Awards 2023: Best Small Trawler – Copious – Macduff Ship design

This fine little ship will work for its experienced owners in the bleak, windy and cold waters to the north of Scotland. Macduff Ship Design knows those waters well and this very imaginative new trawler will work very safely, efficiently and effectively there. Magnificent!  “The entire fishing operation was reviewed and analyzed. The layout of fishing operations, the positioning of the equipment, and the mechanization of a number of areas to avoid crew contact with gear was given a high priority to ensure maximum crew safety.” more, >>click to read<< 07:42

‘He refuses to retire’: 82-year-old Iain Boyd’s thriving Ullapool Smokehouse

In the early stages of the now 82-year-old’s career, he spent a great deal of time lobster fishing, scallop diving and mussel farming. It’s a passion that has never dwindled through the decades. Even when Iain went on to work in the oil business, he still “yearned to be involved” in the fishing trade, so much so that his downtime was spent smoking kippers, mackerel, haddock and salmon. “He spent many years perfecting a traditional artisan method [to smoking salmon] before starting up the smokehouse about 20 years ago,” says daughter Louise. The smokehouse in question is Ullapool Smokehouse which is, of course, based in the picturesque fishing village of Ullapool. More specifically, in Morefield Indstrial Estate. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 10:10

Fishermen rescued from sinking boat after capsizing in strong winds

RNLI’s Oban lifeboat was tasked by Stornoway coastguard after a 17-metre fishing boat began taking on water south of the Garvellachs on Wednesday afternoon at around 1pm. When the lifeboat arrived, they discovered two members of the crew on a life-raft while two others had remained on board in a bid to stem the flow of water coming in. The Prestwick-based Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 and a local workboat were standing by, however, strong winds and a heavy sea made it impossible to transfer across members of the lifeboat crew to the fishing boat with a salvage pump. photos, more, >>click to read<< 06:42

Peterhead landings hit new record

With £232 million worth of catches traded across its quaysides, Peterhead set a new record for fish landings in 2023. This smashes the 2022 figure of £220 million, which was also a modern era record, by a comfortable margin, and cements Peterhead’s position as the largest fisheries port in Europe.  ‘It was a very successful year for landings, with a notable increase in pelagic landings due to the economic link which is more than compensating for a decline in shellfish landings,’ said Peter Duncan, Peterhead Port Authority’s Head of Fishing – Commercial. In recent years PPA has invested over £50 million in an ultra-modern fish market and quayside improvements that allow for vessels to land at all states of the tide. more, >>click to read<< 07:46

Vessel Review: Daystar – North Sea Prawn Trawler Delivered to Scottish Owner

UK boatbuilder Parkol Marine Engineering has handed over a new trawler to fishing boat owner and skipper Stephen West based in Fraserburgh on Scotland’s east coast. The 25.09- by eight-metre Daystar replaces an earlier, similarly named but slightly smaller Parkol-built trawler in the owner’s fleet. The newbuild was designed by SC McAllister and Co for twin-rig trawling of prawns in the North Sea as was the case with its 2017-built predecessor. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 08:25

Fishing smarter, not harder

Whitelink seafood’s scallop dredger Eternal Light FR-35 reports some successful fishing in new areas, thanks to seabed details revealed by their Turbowin 3D plotter. ‘We took a hundred bags of scallops off a small uncharted ridge yesterday,’ said skipper Ian Taylor. The banks, ridges, reefs and gullies revealed by Turbowin 3D have meant that working techniques have been adapted to fish them in a precise, targeted fashion and users are clearly reaping benefits,’ according to Calum West at Seafield Navigation. ‘This means increased catches for the same effort and allowing new areas to be worked safely. Features that are only one metre high jump out at you, which aren’t included in navigation charts or any of the competitors’ 3D systems.’ a 3D image, more, >>click to read<< 13:40

Vessel Review: Seraphin- Scottish Owner adds Prawn and Groundfish Twin-Rigger to fleet

Family-owned Lighthouse Fishing Company of Peterhead, Scotland has expanded its east coast vessel fleet with the recent acquisition of a new twin-rig trawler built by Parkol Marine Engineering. Seraphim was built to a design by Ian Paton of SC McAllister and Company for both single and twin rig trawling of prawns and groundfish. It can also operate as half of a pair trawler team if needed, providing greater flexibility for the owners. The development of the new trawler was in fulfillment of the requirements of Lighthouse’s owners, father and son fishers Andrew and Joshua Buchan. photos, info, >>click to read<< 10:43

Kyle & Mallaig lifeboats launched to trawler hard aground at Kylerhea narrows

Kyle lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen launched into a snowstorm at 5:48pm, and made best speed towards the vessel, arriving on scene at 6:00pm. On arrival the vessel was on the rocks and was listing slightly to port, however the 7 crew on board were all accounted for and uninjured. The UK Coastguard helicopter from Inverness arrived on scene, however at this point there was no danger to the crew so the helicopter was stood down and returned to base. The fishing vessel’s crew readied their life raft and got prepared to abandon the vessel should the boat capsize. The lifeboat could not get alongside the trawler but stood by to rescue any fishermen who entered the water. 2 photos, more >>click to read<< 19:00

Aberdeenshire fishermen to shine light on profession in Scottish Parliament exhibition

An new exhibition will shine a light into the north-east fishing industry through the portraits of 12 workers. Moving accounts of skippers and scientists based in Aberdeenshire will take centre-stage as part of a new exhibition titled “Pride in the Seas”. Colin Stephen, the Robertson family, Dr Steve Mackinson are just some of those who will have their stories told. Based in Fraserburgh, the Robertson family – Mark and sons Adam and Paul – come from a long line of fishermen. Now co-owners and skippers of the Zenith, a shellfish vessel, the family are optimistic for the future of the industry. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 09:50

Tories claim bigger earnings add up to Brexit boost for Scottish fishing

Scottish fishers are reaping the rewards of a Brexit boost to the value of their catches, the Tories have claimed. However, the Scottish Government insists the industry is worse off overall. Figures obtained from the government show a 27.4% boost to sales income for larger vessels – those 79ft and up – in the three years to 2022. These boats netted fish and other seafood worth a total of £3.5 million in 2022. This is compared with landings valued at £3m in 2021 and £2.8m in 2019. Crews on these vessels saw their average monthly sales incomes increase from £22,000 to £31,000. more, >>click to read<< 06:39

Fishing chiefs urge ministers to work with industry, not against it

Fishing chiefs have urged the Scottish Government to work in tandem with the industry and help avoid a repeat of the Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) “fiasco” of 2023. Their plea comes at the end of a year in which, with the support of coastal and island communities, they fought off plans to limit fishing in at least 10% of Scotland’s seas. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) said it wanted “collaboration rather than conflict. “As we look ahead into next year, we urge ministers to resist the doom-laden and over-simplified platitudes of the corporately-funded environmental NGOs non-governmental organisations) who have their own agenda – banning fishing, regardless of the consequences. photos, more,  >>click to read<< 12:51

William Deas: East Neuk fisherman who skippered Reaper dies at 98

William Coull Deas, the embodiment of the once-thriving Scottish herring fishing industry, has died aged 98. Born in Cellardyke, from the age of 13 he fished all over Britain following the herring shoals. His father was a fisherman and his mother was a herring quine. William, known as Coull or Coulli, saw service with the Royal Navy during the Second World War before becoming a shareholder of the East Neuk boat, Fruitful. In more recent years, Coull skippered Reaper, a 1902-built two-masted herring drifter which had been restored by the Scottish Fisheries Museum at Anstruther. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 07:04

Compact Twin -Rig Trawler from Parkol

Built by Parkol Marine Engineering at its Teeside yard and completed alongside in Whitby, Seraphim PD-170 is the latest in a long line of Ian Paton designs for owners in Scotland. The 21.29 metre LOA, 7.70 metre breadth Seraphim packs a lot of functionality into a boat with a waterline length of 16.40 metres. This is a twin-rig trawler targeting both prawns and groundfish, laid out with the option of working as one half of a pair team if required. Built with a steel hull topped by an aluminium wheelhouse, masts and full-length shelterdeck, the new trawler was ordered by father and son Andrew and Joshua Buchan of Lighthouse Fishing Company, in partnership with P&J Johnstone. The boat was lifted into the water at the Teesside yard in late August before heading for Whitby. At the end of October Andrew and Joshua Buchan steamed home to Peterhead to collect trawl gear and carry out final sea trials before starting fishing in earnest. photos, more, >>click to read<< 12:12

Fishing deals said to have netted £393 million for Scots’ fleet

A trilateral agreement between the UK, European Union and Norway covers the total allowable catch (TAC) limits and management measures for jointly managed stocks in the Nort Sea. It has delivered quota increases for all six stocks – cod, haddock, whiting, plaice, saithe and herring. These are said to be worth an estimated £199m for Scots’ fishers, an increase of £68m compared to 2023 quotas. The government said this deal reflected positive advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, an influential group of marine scientists. It has delivered quota increases for all six stocks – cod, haddock, whiting, plaice, saithe and herring. Photos, more, >>click to read<< 14::56

Fishing quota increases should be ‘welcomed by everyone’, industry says

There is positive news for the local fishing industry after a number of quota increases were confirmed for 2024. Commercially important fish stocks such as whiting (+124 per cent), haddock (+74 per cent), herring (+29 per cent), saithe (+25 per cent) and cod (+15 per cent) are all increasing. Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) chair and Alison Kay skipper James Anderson said it was a statement of confidence in the condition of Scotland’s seas. “These 2024 quota increases are very much welcomed by Shetland’s family-owned fishing fleet, and should be welcomed by everyone – not just for the benefits that fishing brings to our islands, but for what it tells us about the state of our seas: the reality is that fish stocks are thriving,” he said. more, >>click to read<< 08:40

Protest song wins traditional music award

A song written in protest at a Scottish Government fishing policy has won original work of the year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Skipinnish wrote The Clearances Again following the launch of plans by the Scottish Government to limit human activity in at least 10% of Scottish waters with the creation of highly protected marine areas (HPMAs). Following a consultation on the issue, which garnered widespread opposition, including among SNP MSPs, the plan was eventually dropped. Written from the perspective of Outer Hebrides-based fisherman Donald Francis MacNeil – a friend of Skipinnish co-founder Angus MacPhail, the song compared the proposed policy to the Highland clearances, which saw the forced eviction of Scots across the Highlands and Islands. more, >>click to read<< 15:21

Nautical tributes for Aberdeen trawlerman Johnny Winton

John Munro Winton – always known as Johnny, was born on June 7 1935 in Aberdeen. Son of trawler fisherman William Winton and his wife Margaret, Johnny had two brothers and a sister. On leaving Hilton Academy he followed in his father’s footsteps, and by 15 he was going to sea on the same vessel as his dad. A family man, although tired when he was at home after extended periods of time away at sea, Johnny made sure he was present for his children. Johnny retired from trawler fishing after 51 years, due to ill health. “Really what summed up dad’s retirement,” said Graham, “was the time he devoted to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Photos, more, >>click to read<< 10:20

Scottish fishing skippers express fear over possible “back door” push for protected marine areas policy

The SFF said that last week, the Scottish Government confirmed it will not be taking forward the controversial HPMAs policy in its current form, which would have led to a loss of around 10 per cent of Scotland’s fishing grounds. However, many fishermen throughout the country remain concerned about the vague wording in the government’s response, and fear supporters of HPMAs will try their best to usher in the policy through another avenue. Fisherman Barry Brunton from Dunbar has welcomed the scrapping of HPMAs but is adamant more collaboration between fishermen and the government is needed to find the best solution for all concerned. Brunton said he was “absolutely terrified” about HPMAs as putting up such an area in the little patch of ground where he works would mean he would lose “everything that [he] worked for.” >>click to read<< 08:19