More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling on Aberdeen City Council to help save a traditional fishing community in a harbour south of the city.
For generations, the fishermen of Cove have freely berthed their vessels within the small natural bay of Cove Harbour.
However, landowner Pralhad Kolhe, who owns a property overlooking the bay, has been locked in a legal battle with the owners of around 12 boats at the site after he ordered their removal.
Since last summer, Mr Kolhe has increased his efforts to prevent the fishermen from using the harbour, and has put down a number of obstructive boulders to prevent vehicular access to the pier, barricaded off an area used for parking, and hammered in signs stating that the bay is private property.
However, Ewen Adam and around a dozen members of the Cove Fisherman’s Association yesterday handed over a 10,000 signature-strong petition to Aberdeen City Council asking the local authority to do everything in its power to help their cause.
Mr Adam said: “The support has been tremendous over the last few months and we can’t ask for more, because the local community and the wider community has been fantastic.
“So I hope the council will take heed of this and endeavour to rectify the situation down at the shoreline in Cove and allow us access.
“Months ago, Mr Kolhe was issued a letter by the council asking him to remove all the debris and boulders which is restricting access, and now we want the council to enforce the letter and make him move it, because nothing has changed.”
Councillor Neil Cooney, who represents the Cove area, said: “It’s been very sad, it’s almost medieval what Mr Kolhe is trying to do here.
“Everyone has the right to access, and these guys need it to carry on with their livelihoods. For some, it’s a hobby, but a lot of families rely on this tradition of fishing that’s gone on for hundreds of years.
“This petition will go to the petitions committee which meets next month, and, hopefully, it will win the people at Cove the full support of Aberdeen City Council to show solidarity.”
Mr Kolhe declined to comment last night.