The Dunbar Harbour Trust issues a regular newsletter with the latest soundbites from the website and announcements of upcoming events and activities. You can receive the newsletter in your email box by enterering your best email on the right of this page.


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Have you ever caught crabs in Cornwall? BBC’s ‘This Fishing Life’ explains very well the problems affecting crustacean fishing nowadays; very similar to the effects overall on Scotland’s seafood industry and Dunbar’s too. Here we catch crabs, lobsters and prawns which we mainly export but also supply to local restaurants.

Each year, Padstow’s fishermen land hundreds of tonnes of brown crab and lobsters, but the vast majority bypasses the town altogether. For decades, lorry loads have left Padstow for the Continent every week. When connected to Europe, Padstow’s crabbing industry boomed. Britain’s crab exports to Europe formed an industry worth over sixty million pounds, but lockdowns across Europe have brought everything to a standstill, and as the global market for crab grows, concerns are starting to be raised about the effects of overfishing. Many problems.

Improve your knowledge, this BBC program explains the effects of overfishing, bigger boats, pandemic blocks, possible quotas, brexit concerns and exports to China (currently stopped, also for political reasons). Most of these apply to us and people thought it was so easy ……

BBC iPlayer - Cornwall: This Fishing Life - Series 2: Episode 3

Thankfully Cornish accents nowadays don’t need subtitles!

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The Masked Avenger seeks to end the littering of discarded masks.

We all see these masks, picked up by gulls thinking they’re food, or blowing in the wind and defacing the harbour area.


Please, please be extra careful before the nesting season. A mask will kill a chick or other sea-life.

Photo from the Greenpeace website. 




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Did you notice on the map that ‘Forth’ is spelled wrongly? Duh and tut, tut!

However, it was a good result. Our Scottish seas are rich in marine life. The waters of the Firth of Forth and St Andrews Bay attract one of the largest and most diverse Scottish, marine, bird concentrations. Over 35% of the eider and over 23% of the velvet scoter British wintering populations, along with the largest Scottish concentration of red-throated divers and little gulls spend winter here. In summer, thousands of gannets, kittiwakes, puffins and the largest Scottish concentration of common terns use these waters as feeding grounds. More than 1% of the GB populations for each of the other 13 species make up this assemblage. The area shown below is proposed as a Special Protection Area (SPA) because it supports important populations of 21 species of marine birds. The proposed SPA will help protect the birds themselves as well as the rich feeding grounds and sheltered waters on which they depend.

More details can be found here

Photo from Nature.scot website

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Seafood Scheme Goes Live  Applications are now available for a new £6.45 million funding scheme for fishers and small aquaculture businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU Exit.

The Seafood Producers Resilience Fund will provide support to eligible shellfish catchers, producers and trout farmers who have faced issues exporting to the EU and lost access to domestic food markets as a result of COVID-19.

Launched on 5 February the fund is expected to benefit up to 1,000 vessels landing shellfish such as crab, lobster, scallops, langoustines and squid, and up to 75 aquaculture businesses that produce shellfish and table trout.

Information on eligibility and separate applications for aquaculture and fishing vessels are available on the Scottish Government website.

Announcing the funding earlier this week Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “The fund for shellfish and trout businesses will help the sector survive the ongoing loss of domestic sales due to COVID-19 and the current immediate challenges of Brexit, giving them some breathing space and allowing businesses to make the changes they need to adapt to the new, tougher, trading realities.” 

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We all love to walk around the harbour, clamber over the rocks, “oops!”, slip into the sea …….. however most people who drown had no plans to go swimming! 

Scottish Flood Forum and the RNLI has distributed these useful videos on cold-water immersion: 

Very briefly: If you enter the water unexpectedly:

  • The initial effects of cold water pass in less than a minute so don't try to swim straight away.
  • Relax and float on your back to catch your breath. Get hold of something that will help you float.
  • Keep calm then call for help or swim for safety if you're able.

Wearing your life jacket could be the single most important factor in surviving cold-water immersion.

Photos from the RNLI video.

Quiz:  Question: How many people die at our coasts every year? Answer: Click <<READ MORE>> below for the answer.

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Locked down, down in the mouth, up in the hills, but yearning to be in Dunbar:
It's quite a while
since we had the pleasure
to be at Dunbar Harbour
looking out on
the lovely boats
the castle 
the seals
birds all dancing on the sea.
And talking to the people
But some day when
as soon as sensible
they'll let us leave the hill lands
allow return.
Oh just to be there
down at the harbour!
Best wishes meanwhile
from us to whomever,
 Poem by Mr. Anon and photo by Mrs. Anon.
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Several days of crisp snow meant many visitors came to the harbour. It's unusual to see snow lasting so long down here.

Jeff Carter took this unusual shot of the Creel Loaders.

Photo 2 by Kenny Maule, Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2 of The Battery in the snow.

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Our local geese have been busy filling our skies. It gets so crowded up there they have to honk to keep the others out of their way, according to a friend who knows nothing about geese!

Aberlady's Website, "Nearby Aberlady Bay is a famous night-time roost for these pink-footed geese (above) in September and October, and they can regularly be seen moving off the bay at dawn to feed in the surrounding fields and returning there at dusk in huge numbers. They have migrated from Iceland and Greenland and some stay for the winter while others move further south into England. Over 20,000 geese pass through Aberlady.  Most of the geese that stop off at Aberlady are Pink-footed geese, but in amongst the huge flocks are Barnacle, Brent, Greylag and even the odd Snow goose."

Website for info: Aberlady birds    Photo by ELC Ranger.

User Rating: 5 / 5

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The harbour's McArthur’s Store recently featured in a program, ‘Beyond Burns’, shown on BBC Scotland on Sunday 24th.

A poetry reading, featuring Makar Jackie Kay and Edinburgh-based poet Hannah Lavery, was filmed in our atmospheric fishermen's stores, see photo above.

The program contains some strong language, even by our harbour standards. It is still available on iPlayer BBC Scotland, ‘Beyond Burns’. “Goan hae a wee gander”.

Photos from BBC Scotland. Photo 1 has Hannah Lavery on the right-side. Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2 of Makar Jackie Kay.

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During these winter days it’s super to see fabulous views of Dunbar Harbour and our stunning coastline.  ‘Centre of Gravity’ has created this video of his microlight flight, remember to click SUBSCRIBE:

Video link:  Centre of Gravity

Photos from ‘Centre of Gravity’

For Sarah Curtis's great airborne shot of the Bass Rock in the passing mist, click <<READ MORE>>

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404