Lossie Harbour : the latest
Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:27 PM
SKIPPERS TOLD THEY ARE NO LONGER WELCOME AFTER £5MILLION FACELIFT AT LOSSIEMOUTH
BY DONNA MACALLISTER
A Moray harbour yesterday announced an official ban on fishermen.
Only two fishing boats will have access to Lossiemouth harbour after May 1 – except during a storm or in an emergency.
Skippers yesterday received letters from the port owners, the Elgin and Lossiemouth Harbour Company.
Chairman George Reid stated damage to pleasure boats among the reasons for the exclusion.
He said: “We have already lost vessels because of various difficulties and have had indications that more will follow”.
More than 80 yachts are currently berthing in the harbour and the finishing touches of a £5million renovation scheme were applied last year.
Fishermen last night said they were “disgusted” with the decision that could endanger lives.
Buckie skipper Mark Godsman, who has been berthing his boat the Christinee at Lossiemouth harbour for the past three years, said it would mean longer hours at sea because Lossiemouth was the closest harbour to his fishing grounds.
He added: “Everybody was saying that this was something the harbour board don’t have the right to do.
“They obviously have. It’s just really disgusting. It’s a very sad day.”
Two Lossiemouth fishermen have escaped the ban, however.
Chairman George Reid has informed Pegasus trawler-owner Dougie Scott that his “long traditional connections to the harbour” have won him an exemption.
Elgin and Lossiemouth Harbour Company board member fisherman Sandy Smith, who owns the Vigilant and also lives in Lossiemouth, is also permitted to berth in the port.
“I can’t see what the difference is between my boat and anybody else’s boat. We’re all trying to do the same job,” said Mr Scott.
He added: “I heard a wee rumour about why I am allowed to stay. It is because I am from Lossie and the other boat is as well.
“And we have both been working out of Lossie for many, many years.
“They (the board) couldn’t really let him stay and not me.”
Mr Smith was at sea on the west coast last night and could not be reached for comment.
Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead said: “This issue is clearly one of concern for a number of Lossiemouth Harbour users and, as their MSP, I will be doing what I can to help find a positive resolution to the problem."
Lossiemouth’s SNP ward councillor David Stewart said he would be questioning the legality of the harbour board’s decision.
He added: “I can’t see how they can allow the two local boats to stay and refuse other boats that are further down the coast.”
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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:46 PM
Posted 27 March 2010 - 03:07 PM
I wonder how some of the current Skippers, that are still fishing and are based in PD or the Broch, think of this unfortunate situation. Some call this progress, I call it an insult to the Fowk o' Lossie. I understand that the Harbour is run as a business, but surely there should be more consideration for the Fishing Heritage o' Lossie and if others, heard the full History of Lossie Harbour, maybe they would reconsider this proposal, am sure emotions, must be running high roon Lossie the noo.
Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:33 PM
i hear the nationals are pickin up the story...
I did'nt know it was a private harbour, never the less, they can not turn away a vessel regardless of what type it is if it needs a place of shelter & safety!
Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:20 PM
Bid to clarify harbour ban decision for fishing boats
msp wrote to company after concerns raised over access at Lossiemouth
By Donna MacAllister
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has sought clarity from a harbour company about its decision to ban fishing boats from docking in a local port.
The politician wrote to the Elgin and Lossiemouth Harbour Company after a constituent raised concerns about harbour access.
A Lossiemouth harbour source revealed last night the board had sent letters to fishermen and their agents yesterday outlining new rules for the port.
The situation came to light two weeks ago when the Press and Journal reported the harbour board had made an “unofficial” decision to exclude fishermen.
At the time, Lossiemouth harbourmaster Ian White told skippers that steps were being taken to stop them from berthing their boats.
Another source, who asked not to be named, revealed that two yacht owners had recently removed their boats from the harbour because they were concerned about damage by fishing boats.
Yacht owners say the pleasure craft industry has become the backbone of the harbour, with 90 berthing there. They pay annual berthing fees of about £1,500.
Fishermen pay £50 a month and 2.5% of their catch as a landing due. Lossiemouth prawn and squid fisherman Dougie Scott, who owns the trawler Pegasus, said he pays a higher rate of £25 each time he berths in the harbour. His annual harbour fees can be up to £9,000, he said.
He blamed the harbour board for the situation.
“All of this could have been avoided,” he said. “We never asked to be in the harbour next to the yachts. We were in the other harbour but the harbour board moved us.”
Harbour board members have been unwilling to comment on the situation.
Mr Lochhead received a response from the board yesterday after he sought clarity on the situation.
He said: “The company has expressed regret over aspects of communication and has stated that it will communicate its decision directly to vessel owners concerned in the near future. I will of course continue to keep an eye on this issue as it develops.”
Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:23 PM
Differing viewson a harbour
SIR, – I was saddened to read (Letters, March 30) the views of the “incandescent" Ed Spence with regard to Lossiemouth harbour.
Lossiemouth was built on fishing and without it there would be no harbour, no marina and no yachts. That is where this argument should begin and end.
Mr Spence refers to the “pittance" that commercial fishing contributes compared to the “very expensive yachts" and accuses your previous correspondent Catherine Coverley (Letters, March 27) of “living in the past".
Generations of fishermen have sailed from Lossiemouth and other north-east ports, often to earn just a pittance, with many never returning.
If supporting what is left of our fishing industry, recognising the difference between the value of something as opposed to what it cost and respecting our fishing heritage is living in the past, then that's an excellent place to be.
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