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Razorfish

Alec Beaton, on the Life Skills course run by the Cothrom training group in South Uist, is getting ready to catch some razorfish, and to show the others how it’s done. He leads them down to his usual spot at Rubha Ghaisinis on the east side of the island.

They’ve been waiting for the tide to go out, and now Alec starts hunting. When it’s windy it can be difficult to see what you’re looking for. But Alec spots one and digs it out successfully. As he warms to his work he begins to collect a good number of razorfish.

Shellfish of all kinds are plentiful in Uist. Cockles and mussels can be found quite easily, and scallops are also available, but this spot is especially good for razorfish. But in amongst the razorfish there’s also the occasional surprise.

After watching for a while John Alec gets a lesson in how to spot the razorfish, and how to lift them. The lesson pays off – eventually. Tommy also has some success. Not bad for a first attempt – and it would be foolish to expect to get one every time.

Alec likes to collect several at a time and throw them behind him for someone else to gather. This way he believes the razorfish are less likely to be aware of any danger and so dig deep down into the sand to escape his attention.

When his bucket is full the team heads back off the beach. They’ve made a substantial catch – even if Alec was responsible for most of it. All that remains is to divide it up amongst themselves, and look forward to some fresh shellfish for dinner later on in the day.

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