Ahab's Axplanations

Previous Axplanations
Autumn 2012 - Axplanations from Autumn
December 2011 - Axplanations from December
December 2011 - Axplanations from December
November 2011 - Axplanations from November
September 2011 - Axplanations from September
August 2011 - Axplanations from August
May 2011 - Axplanations from May
Feb 2011 - Axplanations from February
Dec 2010 - Axplanations from December
Sept 2010 - Axplanations from September
July 2010 - Axplanations from July
June 2010 - Axplanations from June
April 2010 - Axplanations from April
February 2010 - Kipper Procurement Model (update No.1)
December 2009 - KPM3 ( Kipper Procurement Model)

An occasional column explaining the workings of the Amalgamated Fishery Management in a light-hearted yet informative manner.

Dear Fellow Operatives,

All over the Fleet Operatives can be seen huddled around the scuttlebutt or assembled round their morning grog ration discussing the latest news from the Admiralty - yes an announcement has finally been made that the crews of the Fast Response Trawlers will soon be working alongside their volume-fish handling colleagues in a bold and progressive advance backwards to the way we did things before the advent of the new Kipper Procurement Model!

To many in the downtrodden NHP ('Narwhal Hake and Pollock') teams, this news is as welcome as the sight of a friendly sail on the horizon to a crew of shipwrecked mariners who had run out of food and water and are about to tuck into the mortal remains of a particularly unappetising First Mate.

In the balmy days of old, a young mariner joining the fishing industry would be welcomed into a crew. Within that crew he or she might start off as a Powder Monkey, before being promoted to Cabin Boy. After a couple of years he or she might even be allowed to helm a fishing vessel, and get courses in standard or advanced sailing, net-fixing, sail making, pilotage, leg-whittling or parrot care. Since the 'nKPM', the poor Operatives have no such change or respite to look forward to. Thus it is that they arrive at the quayside each day and are presented with an ever increasing number of fetid sprats to gut, descale and process while all the time being reminded that if an occasional eel slips through their fingers, or they are unlucky enough to drop a Pollock, they are likely to be lashed to the grille and given a motivational and supportive lick of the Cat.

As the Admiralty considers the merger of the two flotillas, rumours are rife about exactly who will end up where, what they will be doing, and who they will be doing it with once the merger takes place. There are even mutterings that we will all be returning to the old system where Operatives work seven watches in a row, have half an hour off for some hard tack and a swig of lime-juice, then they're back at sea for another seven days. The more ancient mariners amongst us would welcome such a roster with as much enthusiasm as we would show to having our tackle befouled in the Minches, and getting our rowlocks twisted off in the process.

In other news it has been announced that the Admiral-of-the-Fleet has decided to step down and is to be replaced by his Vice-Admiral. After this radical and exciting move to what we've already got, it can be reasonable predicted that the rest of the Admiralty top brass will shuffle along into the spaces left by their colleagues, with promotion based on the number of press-ups they can do in a minute with a 100-ton shackle strapped to their back.

One can only hope that the transition of power goes as well as the change to the internal electronic mail system. According to the Fishery newspaper ("The Belay"), there has been a 'successful pilot' which has resulted in the change from the old internal signalling system to the new 'Outlook Mail'. I can only imagine that the 'pilot' was as successful as Captain 'Nobby' Cholmondly-Whisker of the Fleet Air Arm who once wrote off twelve Gloster Gnatsnappers when coming into land on the deck of an aircraft carrier by accidentally releasing a live torpedo onto the deck instead undoing his seatbelt buckle.

'Outlook' has worked so well that most Operatives have resorted to sending messages using an Aldis Lamp or standing on the roof of the Fishery waving their arms about in the chilly wind with semaphore flags in their hands because they stand more chance of their message getting through, even if it's dark, foggy and the recipient has lost their binoculars.

Wishing you well over the Festive Period,

Yours on the poop,

Capt. A. HAB (M.N. Ret'd)