Tuesday 18 January 2011

Herring fishing on Islay

Photo: Archibald Cameron.  The Museum of Islay Life

We have posted about peat cutting on Islay recently, and this shows peat stacks outside workers cottages at Tayvullin, up near Ardnave.  Tayvullin is now abandoned (although one cottage has recently been renovated as a holiday home).  What you see in the background are the fish processing factories that grew up around the herring industry.  While herring fishing on Islay was never undertaken on the same scale as it was in other West coast and island communities, you can see that there was a significant effort made. 
The herring were fished out during the early years of the 20th century - and all the buildings in the background disappeared.  It is still possible to see some of their concrete foundations - nothing more.  One of the cottages in the foreground is still there.  It served as a cowshed for many years, but it has now been re-roofed and properly organised as a nest site for Choughs.  Ardnave is one of the best places on Islay to see our iconic Corvids.

Adult Chough with newly fledged young

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