Ahab's Axplanations

The Federation were once again astounded at the coincidences that appear to have occurred recently between ourselves in Kent Police and the Amalgamated Union of Grimsby Trawler Operatives represented by our old friend Capt. A.Hab (M.N. Ret'd.)

Regular readers will recall that we have previously invited the Captain to update us with how their version of the KPM 3 has been progressing, but such were the remarkable coincidences that we thought we would publish his latest Axplanation to his membership in full.

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Ahab's Axplanations

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

Dear Fellow Operatives,

Sunshine and a brisk south-westerly wind up the channel means that Spring has finally sprung and, as though to mirror nature, in the top corridors of the Admiralty the 'old' has packed it's sea-chest to make way for the temporarily 'new'. Scurrilous Operatives have suggested that it has been the temporarily 'new' who has had his able hand on the tiller for some years. The Captain, as one would expect, would not comment on such idle tittle-tattle…

As always, however, change follows change, and around the scuttlebutt rumours abound as to where the Fishing Industry will be heading in the next few months. We know that now 'the old' has gone ashore, the upper cabins at Fishery Headquarters will be filled with the hum of maritime officers poring over navigational charts and setting the best course to guide us through the stormy waters ahead.

One of the main 'buzzes' in circulation is that the Industry is going to consolidate into three large shipping areas - Humber merging with Thames, Portland with Wight and Biscay with Fitzroy. This will allow reductions in the number of Admirals, with a corresponding saving in large German-built motor-yachts (see 'Axplanations' passim). Other shipping staff have been told they may be redistributed in the interests of efficiency -many are, of course, worried that this may be a 'redistribution' in the same sense Admiral Nelson's right arm was 'redistributed' by a Spanish musket ball in 1797.

Those of us currently in the trial area for the much heralded 'Kipper Procurement Model (3) (AKA The Grimsby Pilot) wonder how the shipping-areas will successfully merge, with such differing approaches to the management of Fishing. It is known that the managers of some Fishery Areas would welcome the new model, with its abolition of the quota system and amalgamation of Trawler Crews with the Fish Processing Department, with as much enthusiasm as they would welcome scurvy or the Dhobi Itch. We wait with baited breath to see which piscatorial philosophy wins the day.

And finally…I was happy to read in the recent issue of the Fishery Magazine The Belay that a programme called 'Critical Stripes' has been rolled out to all Fishery Areas for the development of Trawler Captains. I remember with fondness that, as a young mariner, 'Critical Stripes' were what appeared on your back after a refreshing and motivational lick of the cat.

Yours, bronzing on the monkey island,

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

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