Master’s students at the School of Biology kick-started Orientation week with a visit to the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. Following a short bus ride past the beautiful Scottish landscape, we were ushered in for a small introductory talk by one of the staff members of the Museum. We were given a brief overview of the exhibits and the various themes that were integrated
throughout the galleries – beginning from prehistoric fishing equipment to the gradual changes in the fishing industry of Scotland while exploring the effects of economic, political and social factors on the development of the Industry.
We were then left to explore the (deceptively large) Museum. The next hour was spent looking over amazing models and reconstructions of boats, sails, navigation equipment and poring over beautiful photographs and paintings depicting the lives of the fisherfolk. A highlight of the galleries were the numerous interactive exhibits encouraging us to weave nets, tie knots and stand aboard an original wheelhouse – complete with the thrumming of engines!
The Museum also had on display, Mella Shaw’s sculptures titled ‘Harvest’ that were thought-provoking ceramic pieces depicting the urgent issue of marine plastic pollution.
Towards the end of the visit were the reconstructed deck and cabin of the Research LK62 and various models explaining her history and significance and the much anticipated whaling exhibit with various models depicting the changes in the whaling industry over time. The trip ended on a sweet note with some delicious tea and cakes in the lovely café of the museum.
The exhibits beautifully encapsulated the history of Scottish fishing over time and conveyed the story of how boats, fish and folk were all interweaved together.