inshore inshore fishermen

James Mackay   Dunbeath   

Hi there, I work up to 80 creels depending on time of year most of which are hand hauled and from about 17/18Mtrs depth down to 1.0M and covering around 5 to 6 miles of coastline. Most are singles with  some doubles depending on where I’m working. I do not think it feasible to work double ends  as the doubles are never more than 20Mtrs apart.

In the summer time the majority of my gear is in and around rocks and at the foot of the cliff. The tangles, “that’s where the Lobsters live”are deep , thick and strong and so to work weighted ropes on ground like this is biggest remedy for gear loss EVER.  After even a slight swell your ropes would be entangled “no pun intended” and there they would stay as the boat is only 16.5 feet with a 10hp outboard and could never pull them free. (Remedy.  Creel with floating rope to clear tangles and run along surface to marker buoy.  Buoy painted with personal colour as is done and has been through the last five generations  or more of my family. This system worked and still does).

The chips on buoys. As I said, I work  low in and it’s not uncommon to have tows hung up over rocks especially as the tide falls. With any kind of poorer weather the ropes and buoys can take a fair pounding and or rubbing leading to damaged or removal of chips.

For smaller scale but full time fishermen (weather permitting) the extra cost of gear,  “regulation sized buoys, chips, etc” , the recovery of seized gear after an agreement with the owner “I take it it wouldn’t be delivered  back to where it was lifted from with bait in never mind catch or to my doorstep” would make hard and not that lucrative job probably not worth doing.

Creel fishing is not the same the sea over so consideration should be given to the inshore inshore fishermen of which there are many around the Scottish coast.

If Marine Scotland really want to help the creel fishing industry especially the Lobster fishery, they should consider number of creels to a boat, ban parlour creels and MANDITORY Lobster size 90mm with all berried hens “V” notched and returned.  Possibly “V” notching and returning on a year on year off or some other rota basis.  Regardless the Lobster fishery NEEDS help.


Why the contribution is important

Rules to strict chase people away, that means less  people in fishing boats means small local harbours used less. All our harbours should be kept as vibrant as possible  especially in smaller communities but hard line policy and microchip technology is not the way forward in my eyes and I’m looking at your ideas knowing a fair bit of how my forefathers managed to get by.

BUT most of all I like hauling creels and would like to see some policy changes just not cyber buoys, well not unless you’ll let me rename my boat the Star Ship Enterprize.

by jamesmackay on June 02, 2016 at 07:38PM

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