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Fishermen launch crowdfunder to pay legal bills in land row

Boulders and barriers at Cove Harbour are stopping fishermen parking their boats.
Boulders and barriers at Cove Harbour are stopping fishermen parking their boats.

Fishermen at war with a landowner over access to a historic Aberdeen harbour have launched another crowdfunding campaign after racking up huge legal bills.

Cove Fishermen’s Association is looking to raise £20,000 to pay solicitor’s fees as they attempt to stop Pralhad Kolhe forcing them to move their vessels from the land at Cove Harbour.

The row has been rumbling on since April 2014.

Fishermen rack up huge legal bill in turf war

Mr Kolhe, a consultant plastic surgeon who owns part of the bay at the harbour, had four large boulders laid at the site to stop fishermen leaving their boats, and also issued an order to owners to move their vessels from the spot in August 2015.

The fishermen launched a legal challenge and were backed by 2,800 people in an online petition.

Jim Adam, chairman of the association, said the fishermen are currently in negotiation with Mr Kolhe to see if a compromise can be made.

He said: “We’re trying to get something sorted out. We’ve offered to move some of the boats and the winch kits to the other end of the beach. There’s a landowner there who used to have a couple of boats who is happy to help us out. We’re expecting to hear something this week, but I’m not holding my breath.”

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On the crowdfunding campaign, he said: “The significant legal costs to date have been largely borne by the fishermen with the help of well appreciated donations. However with a number of recent court hearings and a further court session in the near future, we have to appeal once again for help and support to continue the fight. We want to ensure Cove’s fishing tradition continues and our visitors and other users of the harbour are allowed to pursue their activities unhindered.

“It doesn’t just affect the fishermen but also many other users such as divers, rock climbers, rock fishers, kayakers and general visitors to the picturesque harbour.”

Mr Kolhe declined to comment when approached by the Press and Journal.

To donate to the fishermen, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/savethefishingboatsofcoveharbour

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