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Rosehearty fishermen secure funding for harbour upgrades

Rosehearty Harbour and Inshore Fishermen’s Association officer bearers (L to R) David Whyte, chairman, Ross Downie, vice chairman, Dawn-Marie Duncan, treasurer and Shirley Whyte, secretary.
Rosehearty Harbour and Inshore Fishermen’s Association officer bearers (L to R) David Whyte, chairman, Ross Downie, vice chairman, Dawn-Marie Duncan, treasurer and Shirley Whyte, secretary.

A north-east group set up to protect the livelihoods of local fishermen has secured funding for a series of improvement projects.

The Rosehearty Harbour and Inshore Fisheries Association (RHIFA) has been working with the council and North East of Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG) on funding applications.

It has now secured £69,000 from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The cash will be used to pay for new ladders at the west pier, a mechanised davit and an ice machine and covers 80% of the total £87,500 project cost.

The upgrades were identified as priorities for RHIFA after the association was launched in the autumn.

RHIFA raised more than £6,000 itself for the work to be carried out.

The majority of RHIFA members are commercial fishermen.

Last night chairman David Whyte said the committee was “pleased” to have secured grants to make the upgrades a reality.

And it’s hoped that the revamp will begin soon.

Mr Whyte said: “We will be starting work in May to install the ladders and the chill facility will be subject to planning permission.

“I retired just over a year ago and ever since I’ve been able to sit and do all the paperwork for this.

“We really have moved quite quickly on this.”

The funding boost comes as RHIFA unveil plans for its very own quayside ice plant and chill facility.

If planning is approved for the quayside ice plant, the harbour building could then be used by fishermen working out of the village.

Rosehearty Harbour is one of the oldest sea ports in Scotland and at one time had a fishing fleet which supported 600 people.

It extends to about 36,597 sq ft and is used by about 20 boat crews on a regular basis.

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