Since Britain joined the European Economic Community in the mid- 1970s, the fishing industry along our coasts has been under pressure from overfishing. In this book, Mike Smylie takes us on a tour from Duncansby Head to the Solway Firth. Here, small crofting communities sit on the fringe of the sea, hidden among the lochs and islands that indent Scotland's beautiful west coast and using what may well be the prettiest fishing boats in Britain. Although fishing here was mostly subsistence level and did not approach the scale of the industry on the east coast, there were large harbours at Stornoway, Castle Bay on Barra, Ullapool, Mallaig, Tarbet and Campbeltown. Mike Smylie shows us harbours, large and small, along with the boats and the communities that depended on them, from the herring fishery of Stornoway to salmon netting on the Solway Firth.
Mike Smylie is a regular sight at fishing festivals in Britain and Europe, smoking herring and talking about fishing boats. He is the acknowledged expert on British traditional fishing boats. He is the author of thirteen published books and the co-founder of the 40+ Fishing Boat Association which was founded in 1995 against the background of the scrapping of decommissioned fishing vessels. He is the editor of their thrice yearly magazine entitle Fishing Boats. He is acknowledged as one of the experts on Britain's fishing industry and has been interviewed on both television and radio about the subject. He lives in Bristol.