Views from the Scord
Fish landings were up again in the past week with a total of 1,745 boxes passing through the Scalloway market.
The biggest single landing came from the Wick-registered Opportune, landing 410 boxes. The rest of the total came from the Ardent, Comrades, Gunner’s Glory, Venturous, Radiant Star, Prolific and Valhalla.
Blueshell Marine’s workboat Harvester continues to harvest mussels in the Scalloway area, with the salmon tender Contender also making several visits to the port and the Ronja Settler still bringing salmon to the factory at Blacksness.
The workboat FOB Jr made a return to Scalloway after an absence of several weeks. She made several calls before tying up at the beginning of this week as weather has halted her operations again for a period.
The Constructor left her berth for an overnight stay in Foula to deliver a cargo of aggregate at the beginning of last week.
The Nassau-registered standby vessel DEA Server made a return visit this week to collect a first officer and the Banff-registered Enterprise called in briefly to allow a crewman to attend a hospital appointment.
At the beginning of this week two SIC ferries came in for maintenance and repair. The Papa Stour ferry Snolda has been taken up the slip at Moore’s and the Foula ferry New Advance is expected to remain alongside for around 10 days.
The charming family fun day centred around the Trondra Hall makes a return this year.
The Peerie Neep 2 is to have a western “Hoe-Down” theme this time around with some inspired western and neep related antics for visitors to take part in.
The challenge to “Lasso da ewe”, the previously spectacular “Toss da neep” competition and comical “Bungee neep run” being fine examples. Decorated wheelbarrows will be raced and visitors in similarly suitable western attire will be made most welcome.
Refreshments, music, teas and homebakes will be available throughout the afternoon and there is even promise of “Janne’s waffles”. You can even try your hand at archery.
There is also the enticing and mouth-watering prospect of a chilli cook-off, for which guests are invited to enter their prized chilli recipe in competition against each other in the evening. While the rest of the day’s events are fun and frivoulous, it is claimed that at Trondra cook-off is a deadly serious affair.
All this wholesome, and potentially delicious, fun kicks off at 3pm tomorrow at the Trondra Hall, with events through the afternoon and a barbecue scheduled for 5pm.
Next week sees the start of the summer playschemes for Scalloway bairns. This is the third year of the activities for school children during the holidays and promises to be even more fun-packed, adventurous and entertaining than previously.
Almost all the day events are fully subscribed to already with upwards of 30 bairns taking part each day. Among the destinations for day trips this year are a fishing trip on the Swan, trips to the historic locations of Fethaland and Mousa, a visit to the ice rink to be set up in Lerwick and a chance to try out pony riding in Trondra.
Scottish Sea Farms are to give bairns the chance to see a salmon business functioning and there will be educational and fun events with field studies officer Harry Rose and craft work with Christie Cummings and the chance to visit the burn of Lunklett and the Kergord tree plantations.
Aquaculture safety event
An innovative safety awareness training day targeting local maritime industry took place in Scalloway on Tuesday.
The fast-track day course had 82 participants from the aquaculture and shellfish industries and the SIC and focused on specific safety issues relevant to those working on boats and barges around our coast.
The venue was provided through a collaboraton of the NAFC Marine Centre, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the LHD who together own the entire upstairs of the fishmarket building in Scalloway. Seven safety scenarios were set up and hosted by relevant safety representatives.
The attendees were divided into seven groups and spent around 20 minutes in each scenario, before moving on to the next. The themes were deliberately hard-hitting and dealt with highly relevant issues such as cold water shock, working in confined spaces, forklift safety, slinging and lifting loads, lifejackets, liferafts and correct use of flares.
Northern Lighthouse Board coastal inspector for aquaculture Steven Driver said: “We all know that accidents can and do happen and these workshops are a means to directly address safety issues in aquaculture, which is now the third biggest industry in Scotland.”
The team of professionals brought together for the event included regional HSE inspector Ann Poyner, lifejacket design specialist Bob Wilson and RNLI fishing safety manager Ian Benham.
Ms Poyner said: “We find that the safety-awareness days are an ideal way of getting across key messages to the industry. These courses allow a high turnover of people and get across key messages about key areas were accidents happen.”
Kenny Grant, a site manager with Scottish Sea Farms, was one of those attending the event and he said: “It was all very relevant. We’ve all done safety courses about these subjects before but it’s been a good refresher.”
The Bridge-End Eela and associated foy went ahead last Saturday afternoon, drawing good numbers of people to the shore-based family events and an exceptionally good turnout for the angling competition itself.
There was a car boot sale and various stalls and the Shetland Canoe Club were in attendance to allow newcomers to try out sea kayaking. There were also a range of stalls in a marquee.
The eela itself set off at 2pm with an impressive 18 boats and 57 anglers competing. Catches were equally impressive with Leslie Tait’s winning catch weighing in at 52.5kg. The women’s winner was Grace Williamson with 21.1kg and the junior winner was Harry Tait with 45.2 kg.
The heaviest fish was taken by Wilbert Robertson with a 2.4kg ling and the best average boat was Boris, skippered by John Tait, averaging 48.8kg.
The competition was followed by a barbecue and social event in the marquee set up at the Bridge-End Outdoor Centre.