An expected early start from Stornoway harbour tomorrow morning (Monday August 19th) is due to mark the start of this year’s guga hunt.

The annual harvest of 2,000 fat young gannet chicks excites fury in some and delight in others, but for the district of Ness there’s no question that this is the biggest event of the year.

A team of men will head for Sula Sgeir, 40 miles north of Ness, aboard the fishing vessel Sheigra, which calls in at Ness before heading towards the remote islet.

Once landed the men will be on their own for around 10 days (depending on weather) during which time they will be self-sufficient on the island, as well as harvesting and beginning the curing process of the young gannets.

Each man has his own quota of the fowl and a select list of his own customers, with supplies for guga enthusiasts very limited.

The picture is a still from the BBC Two documentary The Guga Hunters of Ness (2009).