Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / A cautionary tale for Greenies

A cautionary tale for the Greenies and all those who support the wholesale drive not only to destroy Shetland’s beautiful landscape, but also wish to surround Shetland’s coastline, and destroy some of its rich inshore fishing grounds, with seaborne wind farms:

In the late nineties, we, the Defiant, were fishing on the Eashaness/Flugga grounds, approximately 25/30 miles NW of Shetland.

It was a beautiful day with little or no wind and smooth seas and we were getting a good fishing of cod, monk and haddock.

All of a sudden I started to feel a shudder going through the boat which felt like an engine problem, or we had picked up something in the propeller. I checked all the engine room dials situated in the wheelhouse, checked our gear to see that we had not picked up something in our net or on our trawl doors, but all seemed normal.

I then set about checking the Defiant from stem to stern, including the engine room and, although the shuddering continued and I could feel it wherever I went on the boat, I could find absolutely nothing.

Eventually I called the engineer – the crew were below, sleeping – to check the engine room, just incase I had missed something. He went of to do his checks and I went back to the wheelhouse.

It was only after I got back to the wheelhouse that I realised that the shudders seemed to be at regular intervals, so I started to time them. Sure enough, they had a pattern and I eventually pinpointed them as coming from a seismic survey vessel, which was towing an array of cables, several miles away.

I do not know what was being transmitted through those cables, but I do know that noise is greatly enhanced when travelling through water.  So if we were feeling those shudders, in an 87 foot steel fishing boat, fishing several miles from the shudders source, God only knows what it was doing to the navigation systems of any poor dolphins, whales, or sharks, or any other marine life that happened to be in that area – it must have been absolutely terrifying for them.

I will also add, that as the survey vessel drew closer, our fishing dried up – so obviously it affected ground fish as well – and we had to leave the area.

Magnie Stewart