The campaign to protect the Dunbar fishing fleet has received public backing with over 1,000 signatures added to a petition.
Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead, MSP, was presented with a 1,700 signature-strong petition by Dunbar Fishermen’s Association chairman Barry Brunton.
The pair were meeting at the Inshore Fishermen’s Group annual conference which was held on Friday March 28 in Perth.
Dunbar’s shops and businesses have been collecting signatures for the ‘Save Our Fishing Fleet’ campaign launched by Dunbar Fishermen’s Association at the start of last month.
“It is inspiring to think that a quarter of the population of Dunbar have already signed our petition in such a short time,” said Barry Brunton.
“That support shows the strength of feeling in the town and now we are online, we are getting support from Dunbar connected people around the world,” he added.
The ‘Save Our Fishing Fleet’ petition requests that the Fisheries Minister authorises a Section 15 Harbour Revision Order to restore control of Dunbar harbour to the stakeholder community.
The Dunbar Fishermen’s Association has led the campaign in reaction to policies and practices of Dunbar Harbour Trust they see as a threat to the future of the fishing industry.
After appeals to Marine Scotland and Transport Scotland it was discovered that Dunbar Harbour Trust was granted total autonomy and no government body has any power of oversight.
Campaigners expect that the replacement Harbour Revision Order would make the new Dunbar Harbour Trust a membership organisation and Transport Scotland would then retain oversight.
In summary, Mr Brunton said: “Richard Lochhead promised to consult with the Transport Minister and make a decision before Alex Salmond visits Dunbar next month; we hope he will come with good news.”
First Minister Alex Salmond is scheduled to make a visit to the John Muir Museum on Dunbar High Street on April 21.
The petition can be found online at www.ipetitions.com/petition/help-save-our-fishing-fleet.