Arbroath fishermen busier than ever

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ARBROATH fishermen have denied the suggestion made last week that commercial fishing in the town is on the wane.

Brian Beckett, speaking on behalf of the Arbroath fishermen, said he was “upset” that the article showed an empty outer harbour and made claims about declining commercial fishing.

He explained: “This is not actually a true story.

“The fleet has changed from a prawn and white fish fleet to a totally creel or static drive fleet.

“In fact, the fleet has been renewed in the last three or four years, and it is now thriving.

“More landings pass through the Arbroath fish market now than at any other time in the last 15 years, and it is now used five days a week.

“100 per cent of the local fleet land their catches in Arbroath now, where before it used to be taken up to Aberdeen and Peterhead.

“Nothing used to be landed in Arbroath, but now that has turned around.”

In all there are 15 fishing vessels using Arbroath Harbour, each locally owned and consigning hauls across Scotland and Europe.

Mr Beckett added: “We have shellfish buyers coming down all the time from Macduff, Tarbert and Johnshaven.

“The Outer Harbour is buoyant.”

The fishermen are also popular visitor attractions, with many who come to see the men at their work.

Recent improvements to the Harbour have also been made by Angus Council, for which Mr Beckett said they are thankful.

He said: “The new fuel tank on the oil pier has been very well used, and the fishermen appreciate the council providing it.”

He added: “Just now the Arbroath public think the fishing fleet is finished, but in actual fact the fleet has changed from using big boats to smaller ones.

“There’s still plenty of activity going on down at the harbour.”