Marine News by John Kinsman, Station Manager at Coastwatch St Monans, Fife
Seafood jobs at risk
Seafood producers face a huge rise in the cost of exporting as a result of charges imposed by local authorities. One firm, Loch Fyne Oysters has seen its bill for council health certificates soar thirty-fold in just two years. Argyll and Bute council said it had increased charges in the face of budget cuts.
But the Clyde Fishermen’s Association warned the massive hike in fees could ultimately cost jobs. Every consignment of food and drink exported to countries outside the EU requires a health certificate. The charge for a health certificate for a normal consignment has risen from 317 in the last financial year to £91 this year. As a result, Loch Fyne Oysters in Cairndow near Inverary is facing a bill of £125,000 a year. That is 30 times more than it had to pay just two years ago.
A spokesman for Clyde Fishermen’s Association said “Fees vary so much across Scotland, it’s time for action to create a level playing field.”
Warning to Dog Owners
Dog owners in the East Neuk of Fife and parts of Scotland have been warned to be on the lookout for lumps of palm oil that is being washed up on local beaches. The palm oil can be fatal to dogs if eaten. Coastwatch St Monans team and other agencies are keeping an eye on the situation and reporting any sightings of lumps of palm oil on beaches.
Coastwatch St Monans team have had a busy month with a couple of calls to injured birds plus keeping watch for a small craft. Also the team recently took delivery of a new lifebuoy and housing for their station rescue gear. The life buoy and housing was donated to Coastwatch by Glasdon of Blackpool, to which Coastwatch St Monans are very grateful.
Glasdon is a leading manufacturer of environmental and safety products.