Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Episode 3 of Fish Town.

In Episode 2 of Fish Town we learned from fish merchant Jason Jack how he helps increase the value of fish landed by processing every available part - including the cheeks of monkfish which in Scotland - as opposed to the South West and Cornwall - are landed head-on.

Newlyn beam trawlers land only monk tails.

In Episode 3 of Fish Town the fishing boat Zenith sets out from Fraserburgh - 20 miles away from Peterhead - in search of whitefish and prawns. At the helm is 26-year-old skipper Adam Robertson. He starts fishing 40 miles out to sea, but his net fills up with mud from the seabed which means he has to haul in early. When the net comes up, it's been torn. Adam gets his net back in the water, but it then gets stuck on an obstruction, meaning Adam could lose his net. He manages to free it, and finally starts landing huge hauls of fish.

The Peterhead boat Amity is on its way to a fishing ground near the Shetland Isles when it runs into trouble. Something is tangled in the propeller. As night falls, skipper Phil Reid puts a waterproof camera over the side to try to work out what's causing the problem, but it's too dark to see. If he can't fix the problem, the Amity might have to be towed back to port without catching a single fish. But he manages to clear the obstruction and make it to his fishing ground. After weeks of poor fishing, Phil and his Filipino crew need a good catch but the fish prove elusive. Small catches mean less money at the end of the trip for both Phil and his crew, and while Filipino crewman Mikko's cooking lifts the mood, the hauls don't improve. After days at sea, Phil decides to land his catch in Lerwick, in the Shetland Isles, to get the best price for it.

Back on land, a 300-tonne trawler comes into Peterhead port for a paint job. It goes onto the harbour's ship lift and is hoisted out of the water - one of the port's most impressive sights. Local boat painters then have just six days to get it cleaned, painted, and back into the water. A few miles away at net-makers Jackson Trawls, the staff are busy making huge fishing nets mostly by hand.

You can catch up with last night's third or all three episodes here: