Mallaig Harbour News: January 2019
Projects for 2019
This new year will herald the completion of two projects that have been bubbling away for the past few months.
The Passenger Ferry Access – which will replace the steps – will be in situ by the time the February 2019 issue of West Word hits the streets. Contractors Gael Force Ltd will be on site on the 8th of January, will begin lifting in the guides on the 11th, the pontoons on the 14th and the access ramps and bridges on the 16th January.
Mallaig Harbour Ice plant is due to arrive in Mallaig mid January. The Ice Plant which consists of two 40’ containers one on top of the other will then be assembled, commissioned and become operational early in February 2019.
It’s been a dismal end to what has been a dismal year for our fishermen with not even an end of year boost for the sprat trawlers. There’s been no sprat landings (so far) this winter.
It all adds to the doom & gloom as it’s fair to say that since October 2017 – a total of 14 months – the prawn fishing in the South Minch has been poor, the usually abundant grounds providing sparse return for the effort and fuel expended by the skippers.
One could argue that the fishing industry in Mallaig is at it’s lowest ebb ever, certainly within living memory and its extremely worrying with only a handful of fishing boats left in the port. Not so long ago Mallaig used to boast over 40 locally owned vessels employing up to 160 (mostly) local men eager to put to sea and eager to get the rewards. It would seem that a way of life is fading away before our very eyes.
Tommy Ralston, an ex fisherman, prawn buyer and Lifeboat Coxswain, who sadly passed away last year, wrote a book entitled Captains and Commanders which contained this nostalgic poem also called Captains and Commanders. Read it please and ponder!