Shellfish Safaris Masthead
Shellfish Safaris Masthead
Shellfish Safaris Masthead
Shellfish Safaris Masthead
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Shellfish from the West Coast of Scotland

Caught by local skipper Ian McWhinney, who's family has fished these waters for centuries, these sustainably fished prawns, langoustines and crabs are sold at local markets. Some of the catch ends up on the tables of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, and some is sold directly to the public.

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Dry Island Langoustines
Take a prawn and quadruple it in size. Add claws. Then it is a langoustine. They are also known as Dublin bay prawns and Norway lobsters. They are usually pinky-red in colour although they can also be quite pale. They are solitary predators, feeding on other animals such as worms and fish. The bulk of the catch is taken by trawlers, which catch the animals during periods of emergence from their burrows in the seabed (this also kills all the small and berried ("pregnant") ones and produces a large dead by-catch as well).

Fresh Caught Lobster from the West Coast of Scotland

Freshly Caught Lobster, from Dry Island on the West Coast of Scotland

Young's, the seafood company, plans to ship the prawns from the West Coast of Scotland, where they are caught, on a 12,000-mile, nine-week round trip to Thailand, where they will be hand-peeled by workers earning 25p an hour. They will then be shipped back to Scotland before being breaded and packaged as premium "Scottish Island" scampi for British supermarkets. Ian's langoustines have a far smaller carbon "claw print".

About Us

Dry Island Shellfish is a small family run company based on an island in the middle of Badachro Bay, Wester Ross. Although only trading to the general public for the last 5 years, Ian's family have been fishing and fish curing for hundreds of years. Up until the 1950s, Ian's Granddad would throw back langoustines. Now they are the main export from the area. 90% of Scottish shellfish is exported and the chances are the prawns in your Spanish paella come from here. After seeing his shellfish flown live all over Europe and once seeing a crab with a label from Wester Ross whilst on holiday in Madeira with a price tag of 25 euros (Ian was getting 1 euro a kilo for brown crabs), Ian and his partner Jess decided that it was about time that there was a local supply of premium quality shellfish available to locals and holidaymakers alike.

Ian McWhinney and two brown crabs

The skipper, Ian McWhinney, with two freshly caught brown crabs

From small beginnings, we started selling direct to the public. One chap once asked for langoustines, "How many would you like?" Ian asked. "Mmm, one I think" "Kilos or pounds" "Oh no ! Just the one, it's for my wife and my dinner."

We now have a successful fish stall on Gairloch Pier selling a wide range of fish and shellfish straight from the boats and all from Scottish waters. We also attend Farmer's markets all over the North of Scotland.

All our shellfish is caught sustainable using creels which have very little by catch. In fact, Loch Gairloch and Loch Torridon are the only 2 lochs approved by the Marine Stewardship Council. All immature and berried ("pregnant") langoustines, crabs and lobsters are returned live. This ensures that we will have a supply of some of Scotland's finest natural produce for generations to come. Ian's boat, a traditional wooden fishing boat called the Zephyr is also part of the Responsible Fishing Scheme run by Seafish. Dry Island Shellfish cannot get organic certification unless we fence our shellfish in. We prefer for them to roam the clear waters of Loch Gairloch as nature intended.

Contact Us

Zephyr, Ian's Creel Boat
Ian McWhinney
Shellfish Safaris
Dry Island
IV21 2AB

01445 741263

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As Featured In...

The Guardian
The Guardian

See Scotland Differently

Other Links

Secret Scotland
Rua Reidh Lighthouse
Nine One Six
Undiscovered Scotland
The Torridon