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.”
The Dunbar Harbour Trust held an informal event on Thurs 28th Jan, to share our ‘What If...’ aspirations. The evening was a success (derived from positive feedback). Sustaining Dunbar were facilitating the event and had many enquiries from people who were unable to attend, so this memorable event has now been published on Sustaining Dunbar’s website.
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.
Boat owners, leisure and professional, are advised by HMRC to carry evidence of VAT-status onboard their vessels ‘at all times’ in case of checks by customs officials, since the end of the Brexit transition on 31 December 2020. This applies to both commercial and leisure craft.
HMRC is advising owners to put together evidence of VAT-status, such as documentation of VAT paid, and evidence of where their yacht was at the end of the transition period. This is the case for all third countries.
They will also need to keep careful records about where their yacht has been subsequently, such as mooring receipts, so there is a record trail of evidence for VAT-status in case they are asked by officials. All documentation should be brought to and from the boat, rather than left aboard, due to the ‘damp nature’ of vessels.
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 ……
Interview with Romie Blair (Nessie), inspiration and taskmaster of Dunbar Against Litter.
Founded by Nessie, DAL is a group of like-minded people who would like to see Dunbar as litter-free as possible. DAL works with East Lothian Council, Zero Waste Dunbar, and Viridor as well as businesses and individuals in Dunbar who work at disposing of litter responsibly. Nessie is also a West Barns Community councillor.
“We are all volunteers, picking up litter from our streets, beaches, countryside and roadside and disposing of it in a responsible manner. We also want to spread the word and get people on board. You can volunteer! We have a project of Adopting-a-street - asking people to help clean up an area of the town. We can assist you by supplying bags and we hope to be able to supply pick-up sticks and hi-vis vests where funds allow. We can also help by advising where you can drop off bags that will be collected regularly. Additionally, we have litter bins in areas that the Council cannot reach. These bins are emptied regularly by our volunteers.”
Nessie, where were you born?
Dunbar, born and bred, went to Dunbar schools, studied and then returned to Dunbar in the 80s.
Do you have children?
Yes, three sons. I’m now retired and busier than ever.
Is Nessie your real name?
I was nicknamed Nessie when I lived in London after studying atCharing Cross School of Window Dressing.
How many ‘helpers’ are on your team?
We have about 60 helpers who litter pick from West Barns to Torness. Oh, and there’s 990 supporters on our FB page. We get lots of compliments from the public.
Does it keep you all fit?
Yes! We even have helpers on mobility scooters who zoom around gathering litter. Also it helps with mental health issues to be outside doing something useful for everybody.
Everyone seems to regard you as a character, how could that possibly be?
Perhaps because I get things done! I’ve had many jobs including music promoter, running Granny Radge Promos, community charities, even music events in a strip club with pole dancers. I’m thinking of doing a future event: “Live at the Lavvies” near the toilets in front of the swimming pool.
Do you like visiting the Harbour, even if it’s for litter picking?
Yes, I love our harbour but there’s some in our town who don’t know about the harbour!
Are you sometimes an unpaid tourist guide?
Yes, visitors ask questions and fall into interesting chats with us.
Are gulls the culprits for distributing litter?
Well, sometimes, but people overstuff bins with chip boxes and pizza boxes so the gulls easily pull it all out, then the wind spreads it. Horrible and unhealthy.
Has Covid 19 affected your work?
Not really, we work separately outside in the fresh air, ventilation is good.
What are you planning for 2021?
First Aid courses and we hope to start a children's club once a fortnight to see how it goes.
How can people donate to your good works?
By direct debit. Bank: Dunbar Against Litter, 80-22-60, a/c 18280269, even £1/month is fine, or give us a cheque, or there’s collection tins in the Garden Centre, and lots of people help us, Douglas Reid’s garage (01368 863096) does our van MOT for free. Thanks lads! Plus we’ll soon be a charity once the paperwork’s complete.
Any other help needed?
a) We need a small space to take out litter-picks to enable us to recycle more b) Know any clever techie who could connect up our wildlife cameras, please?
“Thank you, Nessie, and good luck for 2021.”
Her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DunbarAgainstLitter/
Photo from DAL's FB page.
Big Blu (Chris Percy-Davies), who has previously run the pizza van at the harbour, would like to open a seafood kitchen here this summer, starting in springtime. The unit, a converted, timber-clad container-sized building, is expected to be on the hardstanding, near Bisset’s Seafood, once the yachts are in the water and it will be removed from site in the autumn when the yachts need to return to the hardstanding. Chris is awaiting Planning’s decision. The Harbour Trust are supporting this plan on their land. The menu will be mainly seafood, to take away. Big Blu Sea's sample menu:
Smoked haddock fish cakes, sorrel sauce
Fried whitebait, shredded lettuce pickles and aioli
Fish tacos with red cabbage and chimichurri compote
Grilled garlic and chilli prawns
Grilled goat’s cheese, tomato, pickled cucumber, and walnut salad.
Angel haddock, fish and chips -battered or breaded
Moules Mariniere (Scottish west coast mussels), white wine and parsley sauce -small/large
Whole Devilled Dunbar mackerel with mint, tomato salad and new potatoes
Mussels (Scottish west coast mussels) braised in Thistly Cross Cider, Pancetta, white onions, leeks, cream -small/large
Grilled American-style Aberdeen Angus 8oz cheeseburger with melted cheese, onions, tomato, pickles and homemade special sauce on a grilled butter bun.
Photos from Chris himself. Click <<READ MORE>> below for photo 2 of his proposed position.
"There's a little grebe in the harbour, just outside your window", came the phone call from my bird-watching friend Andy.
Sure enough, there was! Little grebes are recently unknown in our harbour so this was a very rare occurrence, however they are resident in East Lothian's estuaries and marshes. Look for it wherever there are suitable lakes, gravel pits, canals and slow rivers with plenty of vegetation. In winter it can be found on more exposed lakes, as well as sheltered coasts and estuaries. In summer it has a bright, chestnut throat and cheeks and a pale patch at the base of the bill. It can be noisy, with a distinctive whinnying trill. At 25--29cm the little grebe is a small, dumpy grebe, smaller than a moorhen. It often appears to have a 'fluffy' rear-end, eats insects, larvae and small fish and was busy diving in Broadhaven when I took this photo. It is unlikely to nest here as our 5m. tidal rise prevents it building a stable nest.
Photo credit Kenny Maule.
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