Ahab's Axplanations

Previous Axplanations
March 2016 - Axplanations from March
December 2013 - Axplanations from December
Autumn 2012 - Axplanations from Autumn
December 2011 - Axplanations from December
December 2011 - Axplanations from December
November 2011 - Axplanations from November
September 2011 - Axplanations from September
August 2011 - Axplanations from August
May 2011 - Axplanations from May
Feb 2011 - Axplanations from February
Dec 2010 - Axplanations from December
Sept 2010 - Axplanations from September
July 2010 - Axplanations from July
June 2010 - Axplanations from June
April 2010 - Axplanations from April
February 2010 - Kipper Procurement Model (update No.1)
December 2009 - KPM3 ( Kipper Procurement Model)

An occasional column explaining the workings of the Amalgamated Fishery Management in a light-hearted yet informative manner.

Dear Fellow Operatives,

A new Admiral in charge of fisheries was appointed in January and so I took the opportunity to attend one of his 'Meet the Admiral' sessions at Grimsby last week. The new incumbent opened his stirring address by declaring that he had signed on for five years and he was determined to see out those five years to the end. I certainly felt reassured by this, in the same way that I had felt reassured three years before, when the previous Admiral said the exactly the same thing.

At the same meeting the new Admiral conceded that the new Kipper Procurement Model ('nKPM') "had not been the success that they had hoped for". By sheer coincidence, this was the exact phrase used by Admiral Jellicoe at the Battle of Jutland in 1915 as he watched the pride of his Grand Fleet as it exploded and sank into the cold waters of the North Sea.

One of the first major changes that the new Admiralty team has set underway is to lash together the Fast Response trawler crews with their fish processing colleagues. From June all seagoing operatives will have to descale, gut and package their own catch, which will, it is hoped, considerably reduce the number of fetid sprats in storage around the fisheries. For some who have become accustomed to the womb-like surroundings of their fast response craft, there will undoubtedly be an uncomfortable transition to fish processing, along with the confusing array of invoices, dockets, labels, chits, tallies and other paperwork that goes with it.

For many others, however, this will be a welcome opportunity for them to brush off their tackle, grease their rowlocks, and get back out onto the ocean. Here, at last, after two and a half years of mincing mullet, humping haddock and grinding the occasional grunter, they can finally feel the briny wind tousling their salt-flecked hair as they cast out their nets in open waters.

In order to support these trawler crews work has been done to reduce the demand placed on them, in the form of a revised Cod Attendance and Allocation Model. The idea of this is to prevent boats from being deployed to such incidents as sightings of a suspicious looking whelk which a passing bather saw three days ago, and just thought they ought to let us know about.

In other news, it has been advertised in the fishery newspaper ("The Belay") that from the beginning of April members of the public who report fish-related incidents will be able to log in to a special internet service where they can see if the fish they reported has been caught, whether it was let go again, or whether it was gutted and hung out to dry. The service will be called "Track My Fish".

Also for the interest of operatives, it was announced recently that the Fisheries Minister in London has accepted a ruling that she cannot introduce 'Compulsory Severance' for ancient mariners. I remember that when I first put to sea, 'Compulsory Severance' was what happened to a gangrenous limb following rudimentary and painful surgery by the ship's carpenter. It is a source of comfort to know that no matter how smelly and unhygienic we become, the Fisheries Minister will not be able to whip us off at the elbow.

Yours, flaked out on the booby hatch,

Capt. A. HAB (M.N. Ret'd)