Fishermen have been casting their lines off the coast of the north east of Scotland for many centuries. From the shorelines of the Moray Firth down the eastern seaboard to the town of Stonehaven and beyond, communities of fisher folk lived and worked for many generations in isolation of the larger world yet bound together in commonality of their hazardous occupation.
Despite this commonality each of the old fisher towns were unique and distinct communities, holding themselves separate from other fishing villages. Each village had its own customs and social lore; many had their boat building and fishing techniques; marriage outside the village, while not unknown, was uncommon; each village shared the same few surnames. These facts applied to the villages of Findon, Portlethen and Downies who, despite their proximity to each other, had their own individual ideas and beliefs, and rivalry between the villages was not always friendly!
What every fishing village did have in common was the methods they used to capture their fish, maybe techniques varied slightly from village to village but, generally speaking, the methods applied across the north east coast were the same and of a tried and tested nature.
In this section we will look at the history of White Fishing and how it applied to our villages.