I am still surprised that people read the blog. I have also been told to get out of the doldrums - that is easier said than done. I feel responsible for the crew and families of my crew who have been with me for many years. They actually become an extension of your own family as we live, work and sleep onboard Amity.
When your earnings are cut by half and it is outside your control, I wonder where this will eventually lead. We live in an ever changing world and it is the uncertainty of the future that can sometimes take you away from your comfort zone.
I hear on the news that bread, milk etc all up 30% over the last year yet we have had no price increase on our shellfish. If anything, there is rumour of a decrease in price. May I dare say that must be because of over supply of product, which is normal for the time of year, but the last thing we want to hear. Are there too much of catching and over supplying the market under the present circumstances?
Some of the crew are taking a well deserved holiday from Amity. I wonder if they will have some Langos on the barbeque!
I was at the market yesterday and I saw tons of hake being withdrawn from sale having failed to find a buyer. This was fish that was A1 condition, yet it was destined for fishmeal. I cannot believe we still have situations like this in modern times. If the fish were of poor quality I could understand, but this was the best of hake and all a good size.
My colleagues have been seeing large quantities of good sized hake this year. Where are they coming from? Is sea water temperature changing allowing another new species of fish to be caught in bigger quantities? As quotas are set on past history, we the fishermen are all catching hake and some of us cannot keep them onboard due to us having no quota on that particular species, and others that can keep them cannot get a buyer.
Another observation that I have made in the last few years is that we are seeing no scalders (stinging jellyfish) in our nets and at this time of year. Sometimes we had to change grounds to get away from them. How strange that I would associate warm water with both these species yet one seems to be replacing the other. On the other hand I was speaking with an Northern Ireland skipper and he says back home they cannot get fished for scalders.
I the 30 years or so that I have been fishing, in all the North Sea change is happening - that is with out a doubt. I remember when it used to be so hot we would dive over the side and go for a swim! Having said that, that was long before there was such a thing as risk assessment!