Ahab's Axplanations

Word has reached Kent Police Federation of a scheme in Grimsby which although aimed at the working practices of those in the Fishery industry, nevertheless bare a remarkable resemblance to what is happening in our own East Kent BCU. We are sure that any similarities are purely coincidental

We have therefore invited a representative of the Amalgamated Union of Grimsby Trawler Operatives, namely Capt. A. Hab (M.N ret'd) to share with us his recent communications with his members regarding this new model, and invite Kent Officers to see for themselves whether they can relate to this situation.

We hope to bring you further updates from Capt. A. Hab in due course.


Amalgamated Union of Grimsby Trawler Operatives

KPM3 ( Kipper Procurement Model)

Dear Fellow Operatives,

I have recently had the honour of being approached to write a short 'axplanation' of recent changes in the Eastern Fishery area for inclusion in the esteemed organ of the Fishery Federation. I hope that it will enlighten our colleagues in Mallin, Hebrides and German Bite to what is approaching them on the East wind.

Those Operatives who have served in Grimsby will know that the Fishery Management Team has enthusiastically taken on more pilots than Mrs Biddle of Corporation Street when the USAF stationed their bomber crews there in 1942. It was no surprise to us, then, when in April this year we were told to batten down the hatches and clear the decks for the arrival of the third Kipper Procurement Model (KPM3).

For many years now the functions of catching and processing Fish have been kept rigidly separate. This has meant that those who have put to sea have, from time to time, paid scant regard to the quality of the fish that they have brought ashore, knowing that it will be down to one of the Fish Processors to de-scale, clean and gut their offerings in order to obtain a piscatorial product fit for sending to market. On occasions this has led to unscrupulous Trawler Crews presenting what they purport to be a fine turbot, only to find that it was, in truth, a bag of fetid sprats.

Conversely there have been those who have taken refuge in the darkened corridors of the Fish Processing Units, preferring to skulk there rather than don their oilskins and brave the rough spume and barnacled bottom of the salty mariner.

The idea of changing this system has been seen as a mutinous heresy, uttered only in huddled meetings in quayside coffee houses.

Until now, that is.

As from 2 November the Amalgamated Fishery has been reorganised as follows:

The Fish Processing Department has been decimated, and Operatives redeployed to seagoing crews. This led to anguished cries from some professed landlubbers, not least as their oilskins appeared to have shrunk two sizes since they were last worn. A core crew of crack Fish Processors have remained aboard to deal with the pick of the daily catch.

Trawler Crews have been increased in number. They are now expected to de-scale, clean and gut their own Fish, which has already lead to a dramatic decrease in the number of fetid sprats brought ashore.

The Fishery Management Team have been keen to state that the success of the KPM3 will not be measured by the number of Fish that are hoisted ashore by the gnarly hands of the Trawler Crews, but rather by the confidence that people have that our Operatives are catching and processing the right kind of Fish.

Turbot and Pollock Performance Indicators (TPI and PPI's) have been thrown overboard, and Operatives are being given back the discretion to throw back the tiddlers and whitebait which have bunged up the Fish processing machinery so much in the past.

The Management Team here in the Amalgamated Fishery have helpfully issued a set of ships articles to assist Trawler Captains in the transition to the new Kipper Procurement Model. Described by one Senior Fishery Manager as 'not a stick to beat people with', the document comes with a handy grip and lanyard to prevent it from slipping out of the hands of anyone who may wish to use it for percussive staff development.

Yours, braced for a lick of the cat,

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

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