Mixed fortunes for Peterhead port summer acitivites

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PETERHEAD Port Authority is handling around 1m gross tonnes of cargo per month as it heads for another record year.

Port chief executive, John Wallace, said that the figures to-date this year were slightly ahead of last year’s record, adding he was delighted with the figures.

“We’re just short of the 1m GRT a month landings at the moment,” he said. “We had anticipated a higher traffic but as we know a lot of oil companies have had difficulty securing plant to conduct their activities, in particular plant associated with North Sea drilling.

“This is taking a bit longer to come on line so we are expecting an increase of around ten to 15 percent over the next two or three years,” he said.

The news on the fishing side was less positive, with landings down from 90,000 at this time last year to 71,000. The value of landings also fell from £87m to £70m.

“Prawn and pelagic fishing activities have taken a hit this year and prawns are just not in abundance in the North Sea at the moment,” said Mr Wallace.

“They may come on later this year in the east side.”

There has also been a big drop in landings of blue whiting, mackerel and herring.

“This is just a result of the state of the industry at the moment,” said Mr Wallace.

“We are very pleased to see that sanctions are finally going to be taken against Faroese mackerel and herring landings in EU ports so that should hopefully help the situation,” he said.

“As far as other fishing, around 31,500 tonnes have been landed, which is ahead by 2,500 tonnes.

“However, the value of the fish landed is pretty much the same at around £45m.

“Fishermen are catching more fish for less value, however we do expect things to pick up a bit towards the end of the year,” he added.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the fishing fraternity has been called for Saturday, September 7, at 10am in Peterhead’s Waterside Inn.

“We will be discussing a fishing-related development of the inner harbour and this will have a significant importance to anyone with a fishing interest,” said Mr Wallace. “More details will be revealed later, but we urge as many fishermen as possible to attend this very important meeting, “ he added.