Record landings in Peterhead

New Chief Executive of the Peterhead Port Authority Ian Laidlaw
New Chief Executive of the Peterhead Port Authority Ian Laidlaw

The new chief executive of the Peterhead Port Authority has revealed there were record landings at the port’s market last month.

On July 11 the harbour had its biggest single landing of 7,769 boxes which came during a record-breaking month in modern times with 112,000 boxes sold.

Ian Laidlaw, Peterhead Port Authority chief executive, said: “We are currently 50,000 boxes ahead of the same period last year.

“Despite the record landings and sales, prices remain healthy which is good news for the fishing industry.”

Mr Laidlaw has joined the port authority during an exciting time for the harbour as it awaits the final piece of funding to start the port’s £49 million redevelopment project.

Mr Laidlaw said: “We are awaiting an announcement of a grant from the Scottish Government and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

“We’re expecting the announcement within a matter of weeks , if not days.”

The grant is for between £5 million and £7 million and would see the new development gets underway, including expanding the fish market and harbour depth reclamation at the Smith Embankment.

Mr Laidlaw said: “It will take up the next 18 months but that gives us the springboard for the future.

“This project will secure jobs for the people in Peterhead, both in the fishing industry and in the services that support the fishing industry.”

The Chief Executive says he wants the port authority to set the “gold standard” for other harbours and they are providing feedback into the new Responsible Fishing Port scheme.

Mr Laidlaw said: “We’re setting the standard and hoping that everyone else will aspire to that standard.

“We will be the market leader in quality standard.”

Though new to his role Mr Laidlaw has been around the town’s fishing port off and on for more than 20 years after first working as an engineer on the Princess Royal Jetty from 1994 to 1996.

He was the port’s resident engineer from 2010 to 2012 and project manager of the harbour development from 2013.

Of his new role Mr Laidlaw said: “It’s everything I expected of it.

“I’m finding it really really enjoyable.”