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Kallin Shellfish

This film was made by Polish and Latvian workers at Kallin Shellfish on the Isle of Grimsay, in the Outer Hebrides, who were attending English language classes run by the Cothrom training group. The learners themselves planned, shot, and edited the pictures, and then scripted and recorded the commentary.

We live in the Western Isles of Scotland.
To get here you take a ferry.
It takes 1 hour 45 minutes from Uig to Lochmaddy.

The islands lie low in the sea with quite high mountains on the east side.
There is a lot of inland lochs full of fish.
One of the strangest things is that there are almost no trees.
Some people say the Vikings used them all to build their boats about a thousand years ago.
There may not be very many trees, but there are lots of sheep, kept by people who work on the land.

But the best work is at sea.
This is Kallin Harbour on the Isle of Grimsay.
It is the home of a lot of different kinds of fishing boats.
This is Kallin Shellfish factory, where we work with some Polish, Latvian and Scottish people.

This is what we do.
Here we are working with scallops.
First we have to open them, then we cut out the meat from the shell.
Then we weigh them and wash them thoroughly.
After washing we pack the scallops in different sized containers.
Then we put them into polyboxes and cover in ice.
Now they are ready for delivery.

Another thing we work with is prawns.
We grade them for quality and size.

We also work with crab claws.
First the crabs are cooked.
Then the meat is removed from the claws.
This is not an easy job.
You have to concentrate.
The meat is packed in small containers, weighed and labeled.
Some meat is vacuum packed, covered in ice and dispatched.

Another interesting job that we do is storing lobsters.
We have tanks on the harbour.
It is very important to keep the water flowing.
They are very popular at Christmas time.
Some of them are really huge, like my favourite one, “Bigi”.

After a hard day’s work we go home to Balivanich.
A lot of the roads are single track and quite bumpy.
You have to be ready to stop in a passing place if a car comes the other way.
This is downtown Balivanich, where we live.
This is Balivanich Park.
It is green, but without trees.

We are home.
Now it is time to prepare dinner.
No seafood tonight, just a fight with a chicken.
After dinner we relax, chat and watch some television.

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