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Readers’ letters: The fishing industry, living in wartime conditions in cost-of-living crisis and speed limit on A92

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Sir, – The UK fishing industry is presently facing increasing pressure to its sustainability, due to issues regarding the security of our nation’s fishing grounds and various government-imposed regulations. We fisherfolk who depend on the sea for our coastal communities’ sustainability can only hope that the recent changes in our government and the decisions they make will be for the good of us all.

UK Government officials are presently enforcing minimalistic EU-set catch quotas on our UK fishing vessels, while fleets of overseas-owned fishing vessels appear to catch and land fish from our waters without being checked or restricted by UK officialdom. This issue needs to be addressed.

Overseas-owned vessels are presently closing off vast swathes of the seabed around our shores, with tangle nets and longlines, thus preventing our own vessels’ access to our traditional fishing grounds.

Now our governments have policies in place to prevent our fishing fleets accessing even more of our nation’s seabed, they are presently selling off vast swathes of our fishing and important fish-spawning grounds for wind farm development and this, I fear, will inevitably cause environmental devastation to those fishing grounds and dependent marine life.

I find these policies astounding when there is the alternative of thousands of miles of barren UK coastline that could be used for wind farm development, where near-continuous winds blow due to the natural phenomenon called sea breezes and with wind flowing inland from the sea in the morning and through the day, followed by the land breezes blowing towards the sea through the night.

Unfortunately, our government chose not to work in tandem with nature and ignored this naturally-occurring phenomenon, consequently depriving our country’s home fishing fleet access to vast swathes of their traditional grounds to the detriment of fishery-dependent communities all around the UK coastline.

Perhaps building those wind farms offshore to appease the shore-based environmentalists becomes of more importance, when we consider that the evidence of bird strikes will immediately be swallowed by the sea and washed away instead of birds being found mangled and decimated around the bases of onshore wind farms.

This dreadful policy needs to be revised and overturned before more of the fishing grounds around our nation’s shores are polluted by unnecessary wind farm development.

The fishing industry is a dangerous enough profession without our own governments putting even more obstacles in the way to hamper our fishing community’s survivability.

We on the periphery of the UK are also subjects of our new King and country – do we not also deserve some consideration for ours, and our dependent community’s, wellbeing?

William Polson, Whalsay, Shetland.

Facts and opinion are not the same

Sir, – Charles Wardrop’s complaint about what he describes as the suppression of “fair comment against presently received opinions concerning climate change” (Letters, September 16) is disingenuous.

Dr Wardrop, like everyone else, is entitled to his own opinions but he is not entitled to his own facts, and in stating that “today’s climate events are normal, and within the ranges of the agreed historic record”, he is claiming something that exhaustive research by countless scientists has been shown to be almost certainly not true.

That research is summarised in the IPCC Reports, the latest of which (AR6, 2021, SMP) states that “the scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years.”

The reasons for these changes is explained in a recent (2020) paper by the Geological Society of London, that states “the current speed of human-induced CO2 change and warming is nearly without precedent in the entire geological record, with the only known exception being the instantaneous, meteorite-induced event that caused the extinction of non-bird-like dinosaurs 66 million years ago”.

Einstein’s retort, to which Dr Wardrop refers, in effect meant that 100 opinions are worthless: what matters is evidence and facts. In the absence of any evidence or facts in support of his position, Dr Wardrop’s public opinions are also worthless and – in the present situation – are dangerous misinformation.

Roy Turnbull, Torniscar, Nethy Bridge.

Taxpayers left to pay for price cap

Sir, – Your regular correspondent Clark Cross wastes no opportunity to promote the interests of his fossil-fuel friends (letters, September 20).

He blames the recent rise in energy prices on the so-called green levy. This levy imposes an additional cost of around 12% on energy bills to pay for energy efficiency schemes, improvements to the national electricity grid and support for low-income households.

There is also some support for renewables development.

This charge has been in place at the same rate for many years without much complaint.

No, the real reason for the rise in energy costs is the recent spike in natural gas prices caused by the Covid recovery and the invasion of Ukraine. At its peak, the gas price more than tripled in less than a year.

Oil and gas companies and their friends are now embarrassed by their windfall profits and are keen to deflect attention elsewhere.

It seems likely that Liz Truss will fall for this deception and let these company profits be distributed to their delighted shareholders.

British taxpayers will be paying for the so-called “price cap” for many years to come.

Jeff Rogers, Waters of Feugh, Banchory.

Pipers were in tune with state funeral

Sir, – The huge Scottish presence at the Queen’s funeral is a reminder that they can try to take the bagpipes out of Britain, but you can’t take Britain out of the bagpipes.

Allan Sutherland, Willow Row, Stonehaven.

Wartime conditions

Sir, – I have lived in two centuries, seen as many prime ministers as our late Queen and now my third monarch, King Charles III, but in all these years I have never seen this country in the state it is today since the end of the Second World War in 1945.

Children and families living in poverty, not able to afford to eat or heat their house and having to rely on foodbanks.

The government is going to reduce income tax and give every person £400 towards their heating, but that won’t cut it as food prices continue to rise, banks raise interest rates and wages and pensions don’t rise in line with inflation.

Don McKay, Provost Hogg Court, Torry.

Going round in circles on A92

Sir, – What is going round and round in our councillors’ heads and are the lights on?

Introducing a 30mph speed limit and roundabouts to lights won’t improve the environmental impact on the A92 (EE, September 16).

The Haudagan roundabout was replaced by lights, causing long tailbacks pumping out fumes, and back to a roundabout improving traffic flow. Why all the fuss about cycle lanes, as a regular user of the “drive” I can count on one hand the amount of fair-weather cyclists I’ve seen. Improving the quality of surfacing of cycle paths? C’mon, cyclists don’t pay road tax, motorists do. The A92 is dualled therefore emergency vehicles get an open road, and what buses actually use this road?

The city growth and resources committee should look at the bottlenecks at the Berryden corridor, Powis Terrace and a new crossing over the River Dee. Finish off these problems which have been in the pipeline for years instead of interfering with the A92, a proven corridor.

T Shirron, Davidson Drive, Aberdeen.