Life in the old Loch yet

When we first came up from the south of England on holiday the sea lochs of Wester-Ross were literally teeming with fishlife. In fact that's what attracted us to drive the 700 miles in the first place. We towed a seventeen foot clinker built traditional lug-sailed boat, inside it all our tenting equipment, fishing gear and etc.

Regrettably, within a very few years the bottom of Gairloch and Loch Ewe was a desert, a wasteland created by suction dredging and trawl netting fishermen. People of such a combination of greed, ignorance and lawlessness as to cut off the branch of a tree on which they themselves were sitting. So very sad but of course out of sight is out of mind for most of us, therefore so what?

Then today we looked out of our window to the low tide scene in my photo. Nothing unusual in that, you may think. But oh yes there is. That cloud of diving terns, black headed gulls and common gulls are not there by accident. For some days there has been this evidence of new life - millions, probably billions of herring or mackerel fry being driven into the shallow edges outside Kirkhill House by the large, predatory fish below. Once there in the shallows the birds can also get at them.

Poor fish you may thing, but there's the old saying, safety in numbers. Many will survive and some will grow to maturity then will breed in turn. The cycle will once more be started. And once more the predators in oilskin trousers will move in. Unless, that is, Loch Ewe becomes a Marine Park under the incoming Hollyrood legislation. And of course provided, this time, there is suffiicient enforcement of the Law.

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