New body to protect local livelihoods

Members of the newly formed Rosehearty Harbour and Inshore Fishermans Association.
Members of the newly formed Rosehearty Harbour and Inshore Fishermans Association.

Rosehearty harbour, one of the oldest in Scotland, and which at one time had a fishing fleet which sustained 600 people, has formed an association.

The newly formed Rosehearty Harbour and Inshore Fisherman’s Association (RHIFA) saw 24 people attend the inaugural meeting which was held at the Masons Arms Hotel, when the proposed constitution was unanimously adopted.

The initial membership represents the interests of 15 commercial and seven non-commercial boat owners.

RHIFA was formed following consultation with Aberdeenshire Council and NESFLAG with the aim to protect and promote the livelihoods of inshore fisherman and the harbour facilities for the benefit of all harbour users and the wider community.

Initial priorities including ice-making and a chill facility, while mechanised davit and the installation of additional access ladders to the West pier have been identified.

Proposals are currently in the process of being prepared to access funding from the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The association will now be represented at Regional Inshore Fisheries Group meetings to ensure it has an input to the wider inshore fisheries’ decision-making process.

The recent meeting of the association was chaired by Iain Maddox who is also chairman of the North & East Coast Region, Inshore Fisheries Group (NESFLAG).

It is non-statutory body that aims to improve the management of Scotland’s inshore fisheries between 0-6 nautical miles and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.

Mr Maddox commented: “There was an excellent turnout of all ages and everyone seemed committed to protect and promote the interests of all boat owners in Rosehearty harbour and to build a strong community spirit”.

He added “I wish them well for the future”.

Extending to 3400 square metres, Rosehearty Harbour is a one- basin harbour which offers 120 metres of quayside inside its safety net with a further 120 metres on the outer breakwater, but this is exposed to both East and North-easterly winds from between East and North-east.