With thanks to Kenneth Hutchison, Parliamentary Assistant to Dr. Eilidh Whiteford.
Eilidh Whiteford, SNP candidate for Banff and Buchan, has renewed calls for a re-think on Aberdeenshire Council’s proposals to end Macduff Harbour’s Night Watchmen service.
Dr Whiteford joined local fisherman John Clark aboard the Banff-registered Reliance II on Wednesday night to see for herself the importance of the watchmen, and the challenges of piloting commercial vessels safely into Macduff Harbour.
Speaking after the visit, Dr. Whiteford said:
“I have already raised this issue with the council, but this evening I was able to see for myself exactly why the watchmen at Macduff need to be retained.
“This is primarily a safety issue. Even in daylight with perfect weather conditions, the entrance to Macduff Harbour is challenging for vessels. The harbour entrance can also be deceiving for skippers less familiar with the port, due to the remnants of the old harbour wall.
“It’s also a commercial issue. Landings in Macduff have increased greatly since landing restrictions were lifted last year, and it is probably the single most important development towards regenerating economic activity in the town.
“At a time when the council has been putting huge efforts into regenerating Macduff and the surrounding area, it would be entirely counterproductive to undermine these efforts by removing essential personnel who enable commercial fishermen to land safely.”
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