Scottish Fisheries Museum
The Scottish Fisheries Museum is situated in
the Town of Anstruther in Fife, by the Harbour,
50 miles north of Edinburgh.
The Museum is open 7 days a week, all year
round, with a cafe. There is an entrance fee.
Postcode: KY10 3AB
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Camping & Touring Parks in
The Image top is of the Scottish Fisheries
Museum that opened in 1969, overlooking
Anstruther Harbour. There is a pay and display
car park across the road from the Museum.
The second image is of the Cafe in the
The Museum is laid out so you walk round
viewing exhibits from the earliest to
This is a vast Museum in a number of
Buildings, including a 1500s Abbot's Lodging,
and 1700s Merchant's House.
The early Fishing Methods cover the first
Small Boats with various types of Spears, then
from there on to Hooks and Lines, then
Industry began in the Fife area from the
1500s, becoming a massive Industry from the
early 1800s, with the highest recorded Catches
in the area being in 1936.
Around 1880, there were over 7,000 Scottish
Boats involved in Herring Fishing, with every
Harbour crammed full of Boats.
The early Sail Boats had Open Decks, prone
to sinking in rough weather. Large numbers of
Fishermen were Lost at Sea in these Boats.
Herring is an Oily Fish that has to be
caught at Night with Nets for only a few months
each year, normally between June and August,
due to their Spawning Season. Vast Shoals swim
close to the Surface at Night.
The Mackerel Season is Spring to early
Summer, an other Oily Fish.
Herring would be Pickled and Stored in
Barrels so it could be Preserved and Shipped
around the UK and Europe, leading to a Vast
Industry of Men Making the Barrels, and Women
Packing the Barrels.
After World War Two, late 1940s, Fife
Fishermen began to concentrate more on catching
White Fish and Shellfish, what most UK people
by that time preferred, such as Cod, Haddock,
New Technology, and Larger Boats, that
continued to Fish for Herring, led to Over
Fishing and the collapse of the Herring
Industry in the 1970s. They basically took
almost all the Herring.
Restrictions on Herring Fishing in the 2000s
led to the increase of Herring Stocks once
again, although few people in the UK eat
Herring now. Most Herring is now caught and
processed by Large Ships,
then exported to Europe and Asia.
The small Chapel in the Museum Commemorates
Scots who died at Sea while Fishing.
The Museum also has many Models of Fishing
Vessels from Sailing that were used with nets
from the 1400s, to Steam Powered that began
entering service in 1875, to Diesel Powered
that began entering service in the 1940s.
Sailing Vessels cost less to Build, Run, and
Repair. Later Powered Vessels had to work
Longer Seasons to cover their Expense.
The Museum also has 18 Boats, including the
twin masted Fifie Herring Drifter, named the
Reaper, at over
100 years old. This Boat was Restored by the
Museum and normally Sails in Summer.
Between 2003 and 2005, the Reaper Sailed to
26 ports around the UK. When not Sailing, the
Reaper is Berthed in Anstruther Harbour by the
The Museum also gives information on Fishing
along the Fife Coast today, mainly for
Mackerel, Atlantic Cod, Haddock, Whiting,
Coalfish, European Plaice, Sole, Common Shrimp,
Lobster, and Crab.
The new Large Herring Boats are now mainly
based at Peterhead and Frazerburgh
north of Aberdeen, impressive machines, built
to catch huge amounts of Fish.