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Fish

Fish

A rich catch of fish in the hold of the Stornoway trawler ‘Annandale’ in 1982.

Because of continuous over fishing by international and local boats, and some say pollution from fish farming, fish stocks are now under severe pressure.

Today a catch of this size would be a bonanza.

Fish Farming

Fish Farming

Fish farmers in the mid eighties harvest salmon during the early days of the industry, when it was seen as a ‘croft’ or part-time activity.

Nowadays, fish-farming is big business in the Hebrides.

Multinational companies produce many thousands of tons of salmon per year and control most of the sea and freshwater lochs.

This intensive form of food production brings hundreds of jobs to fragile local communities. But there is increasing concern about a host of environmental issues, such as the effects on wild salmon stocks and the sea bed life.

In the post-BSE public backlash against intensively farmed foods, which has seen sales of organic produce sky-rocket, some are also voicing concerns about the methods used to produce farmed salmon.

Fireman's Trousers

Fireman's Trousers

Workman’s trousers left at Barra airport.

Crofter and his dog

Crofter and his dog

A young crofter with his sheepdogs in the Lochs area of Lewis. This man was one of the first crofters to gain his land under a scheme which encouraged the transfer of crofts from tenants who weren’t working the land to those who were eager to.

Men working at Arnish

Men working at Arnish

Many men in the Hebrides are skilled engineers, as they have worked around the world in the merchant navy and in the oil industry.

Pictured in 1998, these men were using their skills on the island, building massive steel piles for the North Sea. Arnish oil fabrication yard in Stornoway employed many men and produced qualilty heavy engineering work for the oil industry but it’s now closed. Most of the men now hunt for jobs away from their Island home.

There is speculation that the yard may be re-opened but this time to build turbines for a new, ambitious wind farm project in Lewis.

Pilot Whale

Pilot Whale

There has been a steady increase in the number of whales and dolphins beaching themselves on the West Coast of Scotland. This is blamed variously on chemical, radiation or noise pollution.

This pod of 10 pilot whales stranded themselves on Dal Mor, a beach on the west coast of Lewis in 1994. Some were saved, but the majority died, and their carcasses were taken to the dump by the council.

The Waverley

The Waverley

Hebrides have a love hate relationship with ‘the ferry’ – it’s a lifeline, a social club, a means of escape and of excited homecoming; it makes them happy, sad, angry and sometimes very sick.

Caledonian MacBrayne, the Island’s ferry operators run a reliable service, despite the bad winter storms. The Company are heavily subsidised by the the Government but there is constant grumbling from passengers and business over the high cost of making this essential trip.

This photograph was taken in 1988 aboard PS Waverley – the oldest seagoing paddle steamer in the world – when it visited the Hebrides.

The Shiants

The Shiants

The Outer Hebrides, (also known as the Western Isles) is a chain of islands over 150 miles long off the north west coast of Scotland.

The Shiant islands lie between the mainland of Scotland and the Outer Hebrides.

For many who travel by ferry to Lewis, the most northern and populated island in the chain, this is their first glimpse of the Hebrides.

Steve Dilworth's mailboat in Village Bay, St Kilda

Steve Dilworth's mailboat in Village Bay, St Kilda

Steve Dilworth‘s St Kilda Mailboat leaves Village Bay.

Steve Dilworth launches his St Kilda Mailboat in Village Bay

Steve Dilworth launches his St Kilda Mailboat in Village Bay

Artists are drawn to the extremes of the Hebrides. One of the best known artists is the sculptor Steve Dilworth.

To commemorate the evacuation of St Kilda (a remote group of islands lying 60 miles west of the Outer Hebrides) Steve sailed to St Kilda, where he launched a small mailboat made from whalebone and oak.

An art statement maybe, but until the islands were evacuated in 1934 this was how the islanders communicated with the outside world.

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