Fishermen’s anger at breakwaters lockout

A group of Peterhead fishermen are up in arms after finding themselves being locked out of their fishing grounds at the breakwaters.

Monday, 21st September 2020, 8:16 pm
Peterhead and District Sea Angling Club. The fishermen are angry that they’ve been locked out of what they say is their fishing grounds. Pic from Change.org

So angry are they, that one of the group, John Mackintosh has started a petition to Peterhead Port Authority and ASCO, a local business who opened their Peterhead supply base in 1974 to support the burgeoning offshore market in the North Sea.

John is claiming in the petition that the breakwaters at Peterhead were donated to the community by the admiralty in 1959, and are therefore public property, under the protection of a government land bill preventing such property from being transferred into private ownership.

He has publicly commented: “The breakwaters are assets for the town and have shaped local culture and the heritage of Peterhead and the surrounding area.

“Five generations of local families have fished on these piers.

“The breakwaters are public property, managed by the port authority, but leased to the Aberdeen Service Company (ASCO) for 999 years.

The recently formed Peterhead and District Sea Angling club have been told by ASCO that after a review of base practices which included input from Peterhead Port Authority, that access to the public property breakwaters by anglers is no longer permitted.

“A powerful private company is riding rough shod over the communities, culture, and heritage of Peterhead, and surrounding area

“It is entirely wrong for powerful companies to use their powers to impose a social injustice on communities with less powers.

“This is known as corporate bullying, and having contributed to the base review, Peterhead Port Authority is associated with this action.

“There is plenty of room for sea anglers, and Asco.

“We have shared the same space since Asco turned up in the early 1970’s, and it should be remembered the breakwaters are still public property and under the protection of a government land bill.

Peterhead and District Sea Angling Club are in discussions with the Land Registry of Scotland, and we have a copy of the title deeds for this area.

The group have an online petition at: https://www.change.org/p/peterhead-port-authority-we-the-people-of-peterhead which has already gained 992 signatures.

“The next step will be to start a GoFundMe page so the people of Peterhead can take civil action in the courts for right to access our public land”, said John

The Buchanie has reached out to both Peterhead Port Authority and Aberdeen Service Company for comment, but at the time of going to print had received no response.