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Also in the news / Fisheries call, couple more Covid cases, MSP’s ‘despair’ over HIAL, lighthouse book, New Shetlander

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NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael is calling on the UK fisheries minister to meet with industry representatives to address the “significant” post-Brexit disruption fishermen are encountering.

He said fishermen felt “used and forgotten by this government” and the only way that could be tackled was if the Tory government puts an end to its “hands-off approach” and “start actively engaging with the industry”.

“Just last week minister Prentis claimed in parliament that fishermen have ‘really gained’ in the last few months from Brexit – she should try that one on the quays in Whalsay,” he said.

“The trading fiascos of past months and the problems with quota swaps are just part of the story. Fishermen are rightly asking why, if we have taken back control of our waters, are dangerous actions by gillnetters still being allowed to occur?”

SHETLAND Fishermen’s Association is recruiting a second executive officer to bolster its team for the future.

With battles looming over proposed cuts to key quota stocks including cod, the association is looking for an “articulate, enthusiastic and capable professional” to work alongside executive officer Simon Collins in helping to represent the association’s 120 vessel members.

TWO more cases of Covid in Shetland were confirmed today (Thursday).

Across Scotland the daily figure sits at nearly 1,400.

SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart again criticised Scottish ministers for allowing the Prospect strike to go ahead at Sumburgh and other airports in the Highlands and Islands today (Thursday).

It centres around HIAL’s plans to centralise air traffic control in Inverness.

Wishart recently asked a parliamentary question which revealed that the Scottish Government, which effectively owns HIAL, has not discussed the island communities impact assessment on the plans.

The MSP said: “It is extremely disappointing that Scottish Ministers have ignored the strong feeling of HIAL staff. This could all have been avoided if the Scottish Government hadn’t been so inflexible. “Ministers haven’t been serious enough to discuss the plan’s impact on island communities. “Ministers must stop the current plans now and think again.”

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SHETLAND-based writer Donald Murray’s new book about the history of Scotland’s lighthouses is published this week.

For the Safety of All, published in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and the Northern Lighthouse Board, brings to life untold stories – with Shetland’s lighthouses cropping up several times.

Among the untold stories and first-hand accounts by former keepers and family members is a tale by a retired fishermen recounting the story of when his aunt, Mary Anderson, became a local casualty of the Second World War after a German bomb was dropped in the vicinity of the Out Skerries Lighthouse.

Keepers’ dramatic rescue efforts include an incident during a storm at Skerryvore Lighthouse in 1978, and a former keeper recalls a colleague fashioning a makeshift cradle out of rope to airlift a damaged helicopter to safety.

The role of a radar team at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse during the war, including helping to prevent the destruction of the British fleet in Scapa Flow and the cliff rescue of a survivor from a German U-boat, also features.

ISSUE 295 of the New Shetlander magazine is on sale now, featuring articles on an array of subjects including a feature and photographs from the Brunt Hill sandstone quarry in Walls.

There is a tribute to the late and much-missed Davy Cooper, known for his tireless involvement with community groups and activities including the New Shetlander.

A striking new short story from Gordon Johnston, ‘Da aamos’, is set during the First World War, though its poignant events mostly take place at home.

Respected linguist Gunnel Melchers also died recently. She had a great love for Shetland and wrote extensively about its dialect, and mentor and friend Viveka Velupillai has penned an obituary.

Meanwhile Andrew and Alexis Jennings have been investigating the first known Shetland poet, known as ‘Poor Olaf, the Shetlander’, who wrote in Latin during the fifteenth century.

The article ‘Centenaries’ sees Morag MacInnes consider the difficulties in handling a deceased writer’s papers.

New Wadder Eye writer Osla Jamwal-Fraser reflects on dialect, on “code switching” when we speak and attitudes to regional language.

Mary Blance contributes a lively review of a new biography of the late Tom Henderson – the first curator of Shetland Museum and a significant figure in the islands’ history – by Laughton Johnston, documenting a “varied and fulfilling life, despite some dark times”.

The deadline for the New Shetlander short story competition has been extended until 11 October.

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