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Scottish Fisheries Museum Anstruther

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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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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 Museum.

The Museum is laid out so you walk round viewing exhibits from the earliest to latest.

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 Nets.

The Herring 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, and Whiting.

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.

Herring Fishing History.

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 Museum.

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.

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Scottish Fisheries Museum Anstruther Photos
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