Ahab's Axplanations

Colleagues, here we bring you yet another update from fraternal brother Capt. A. Hab (M.N rtd,) regarding proposed changes to "the fishing industry." It seems that as we in Kent prepare for our own Force wide restructuring (nKPM,) they are embarking on a similar restructuring process as well…. It's spooky how these things seem to happen so coincidentally!


Federation of Grimsby Trawler Operatives

Ahab's Axplanations

Industry Restructure Special

Dear Fellow Operatives,

As previously reported in my column, '16/11' is rapidly approaching when the Fishing Industry will be working in an entirely new way to improve the way we fish here on the East Coast. The Admiralty has announced that 'The implementation phase has gone well', which is an almost direct translation of the words used by Phillip II of Spain when he waved goodbye to his Armada as it sailed from Lisbon in 1588. It warms the cockles of one's heart to hear this degree of confidence, and in support of this I have been asked to provide a handy update as to how the new Kipper Procurement Model (nKPM) is shaping up.

Seagoing Crews will have noticed that the marine radio channels have been merged so that trawlers in Sea Area Humber, for instance, are sharing their air time with Sea Area Viking. Operatives who have expressed concerns about the safety aspects of this decision, particularly in the event of a 'Mayday', have been reassured that it has been done in order to 'release operational air time to vessels'. This follows the sound mathematical principle that 'Something divided by two will somehow equal the original something plus a bit more'.

Crews are encouraged to make maximum use of the 'Marine Data Terminal' fitted in most wheelhouses. This technical marvel consists of a small screen which usefully displays the words 'No Signal' under all operational conditions. Singlehanded mariners are reminded that they must not use this device whilst under way, which has led to sightings of a number of trawlers moored up next to shipping lanes with their helmsmen joyfully striking the instrument panel with a marlin-spike while mysteriously mouthing the words 'Firkin' and 'Hull'.

Under the new model, many Seagoing Operatives will be allocated to 'Nautical Herring Teams' (NHT). Surveys indicate that customers of the Fishing Industry like their fish to be caught locally by local fishing teams. It is intended that by changing the names of the teams they can continue to believe that this is happening. This works on the principle that if you give someone a plate of male elongate elasmobranch and tell them it is finest beluga caviar, then that's what they will believe it to be. In fact it is suspected that most customers will recognise it to be bullshark. After abstractions, these 'NHT's will be staffed by nearly three Operatives who will be responsible for catching fish, searching for missing fish, gutting and processing fish caught by the Fast Response Crews, dealing with fish reports under the 'Fish Allocation Model' and crewing the 'Diary trawlers' to deal with fish-related incidents. Trawler Managers are being encouraged to look upon this as being 'Challenging and Interesting', in the same way that the commander of Convoy P17 was 'challenged and interested' by the appearance of eleven U-boats on the horizon shortly after losing their destroyer escorts in 1942.

Nationally the exchange of fire continues with the Fisheries Minister, whose holiday from Reality now seems to have turned into a full scale emigration, as evidenced by a recent article suggesting that Operatives should don their sea-boots and sou'westers while travelling to and from their home ports. Elsewhere one of the Minister's main advisors referred to many trawler crews being 'barely literate'. Fortunately this has not caused widespread upset, as most Operatives were unable to read the article due to the long words.

Yours, going down with all hands,

Capt A. HAB (MN Ret.d)