Fishing Faces: Revealing the people supporting south west Scotland’s fishing industry
CELEBRATING PEOPLE WHO WORK BEHIND THE SCENES
A network of unacknowledged people all play an important role in our fishing industry, from the fabricators of fishing gear to chefs preparing prized Scottish shellfish for our plate in local restaurants.
In this publication we celebrate the men and women whose lives have a connection with the seafood industry in Dumfries and Galloway by revealing their faces and providing a peek behind the scenes.
Portrait photographer, Kim Ayres has travelled along 200 miles of Solway coast to take a series of images that capture the faces of individuals whose lives and livelihoods are closely linked to the sea. They work to source quality seafood or provide essential support to our fishing industry.
The waters of the Solway supports a diverse mixed fishery, resulting in local fishermen targeting a range of fish and particularly shellfish species. Fish processing is a major source of employment including large businesses at Annan and Kirkcudbright, as well as smaller smokehouses on the Galloway coast. The fisheries sector is an important part of the rural economy for the communities of Dumfries and Galloway.
Solway Firth Partnership were awarded European Maritime & fisheries Fund and Scottish Government funding by the Dumfries & Galloway Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) for the design and publication of a booklet and set of cards that aim to raise awareness of the commercial fishing industry in Dumfries and Galloway, through sharing personal stories and high quality photography portraits.
SFP has produced several publications relating to fishing – ‘Sea Life Sea Food’, a booklet focussing on the Solway Coast Heritage Trail; ‘Fishy Tales’, highlighting the history of fishing in the Solway; and ‘Fishy Dishes’, a set of recipes cards for local fish. All publications can be downloaded from the ‘Out of the Blue’ Project page below.
Solway Firth Partnership’s Out of the Blue project was enabled by support from the European Fisheries Fund and Dumfries and Galloway Council and aimed to:
• support economic development including strengthening the link between local seafood and tourism;
• promote the high quality of local seafood, improve knowledge of availability and develop greater confidence in preparation and use;
• improve confidence in sustainability by supporting and promoting responsible fishery management measures;
• raise awareness and understanding of the part that sea fisheries play in the culture, heritage and economy of the region.
Integral to achieving these objectives is the creation of a range of promotional material including interpretation at harbours, a touring exhibition, a website and a variety of publications.
Supporting a sustainable Solway seafood industry
Dumfries and Galloway’s seafood industry was the focus of a Solway Firth Partnership project called Out of the Blue (now finished) which was enabled by support from the European Fisheries Fund awarded by the Dumfries and Galloway Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) and Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Locally, sea fisheries make a significant contribution to the character and economic wellbeing of coastal towns and villages. Kirkcudbright was ranked the tenth most major port in the UK for quantity of landings in 2012 with shellfish valued at £3.5 million. Remote villages with limited employment opportunities including Isle of Whithorn, Port William and Drummore are the base for creel fishermen whose activity reflects the long relationship between people and the sea. The majority of landings in Dumfries and Galloway are processed locally, as well as shellfish transported into the region, which provides jobs along the coast. Much shellfish is exported from the region to supply demand in UK cities and the European market.
The fishing industry faces considerable pressure from wider issues including increased competition for use of the sea. While the sector continues to play an important part in the local economy and supports a broad range of businesses both directly and indirectly, there is a need to look to the future by exploring opportunities for diversification and added value. There is also an opportunity to develop best practice in terms of sustainability to support the long term future of the industry. High quality niche market heritage fisheries trading premium products such as wild Solway salmon provide opportunities to capitalise on the provenance of such fish. Similarly, there are marketing opportunities for other local fisheries based on links between the quality of the environment, the care applied to management of the fishery and the commercial product.
The Out of the Blue project provided support to build on opportunities for economic development including current work on the cockle fishery. The project also supported sustainability initiatives by working in partnership with local fishermen, scientists and government. An important element of the project was raising awareness of the part that fishing plays in the culture and heritage of the region and new promotional and interpretive material has been completed. We also worked to build closer connections between the local area and national initiatives including those led by Seafood Scotland and Seafish.
The following publications are an outcome of the Out of the Blue project and can be downloaded for free:
Where to Buy
There are a number of local outlets in Dumfries and Galloway and in Cumbria where you can buy fresh Solway seafood and restaurants where you can dine on local caught fish and shellfish:
Shops / Suppliers in Dumfries and Galloway
Ferry Fish, Various locations in Dumfries and Galloway including Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Castle Douglas and Kilnford Farm Shop, Dumfries
Galloway Smokehouse, Carsluith
Marrbury Smokehouse, Carsluith
Shops / Suppliers in Cumbria
Bell’s Fishmongers, Carlisle
The Catch, Maryport
West Coast Fish, Workington
Restaurants in Dumfries and Galloway
Henrys Bay House, Stranraer
Crown Hotel, Portpatrick
The Waterfront Hotel, Portpatrick
The View, Port William
Galloway Smokehouse, Carsluith
Marrbury Smokehouse, Carsluith
The Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn
The Selkirk Arms, Kirkcudbright
Restaurants in Cumbria
The Inn at Ravenglass, Ravenglass