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Local Heroes: Hull's Trawlermen
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What were the rules on the trawler? Jim Williams 1

What were the rules on the trawler?
Rules. There weren’t such strict rules, because it just came along with the job. You had to obviously take notice of the mate and the skipper who dished the orders out. But it was a job that came along naturally. You learnt as you went along from your other deck hands and your other crew men.
How much fish did you land?
How much did each ship land? Well that could vary a lot, because a lot depended on luck, weather, experience. Your trip could last anywhere from 16 days to 26. So an average trip would be what we would call 2,000 ten stone kits, which would be around about 150 tons. A good trip, like the Arctic Corsair, that’s laid alongside outside there, she could land what we’d call again, 3,500 ten stone kits, which would be 205 tons, full up. That’s a lot of fish.
How did you know where to fish?
Well, that was by experience. You learnt as you went along. You did a lot of writing, believe it or not, if you wanted to get to the top. To be a skipper. You had to learn all about the ship and the trawl itself, but also about the fishing grounds. And you learnt them by experience, and from the men that you sailed with, your father, your uncle, your grandfather. Everything was written down in books. To answer your question, “Where? How did you know where?” Because it took into consideration… It was seasonal. A classic example of where do you go. From January to March would be the breeding season. And that would be when all the fish, especially up towards the north of the Arctic Circle, would come from underneath the polar ice cap to lay its eggs on the edge of the continental shelf. And that’s when the fish was big, huge, fat, and plenty of it. That’s one example of learning from your skippers, mates, bosuns that you sailed with.
How long did you work on trawlers?
I was 27 years. I first went in my first trawler when I came out the Navy in 1946. And of course, after spending quite a lot of that time in the tropics, in the Navy, it come quite hard to be in the Arctic with all the ice.