Commercial Fishermen & Greystones Harbour: Issues

  • Considerable commercial vehicle traffic including oil tankers on a 24 hour basis in a dense residential area with narrow footpaths designed as a residential cul de sac. Fishing HGVs are driving dangerously (including turning) where many, including children, are hauling dingies & canoes across a path & launching. 2 children were almost run down in June.
  • The North pier is too narrow, 7m, to allow separation of pedestrians and commercial vehicles. Any items left on the pier will be a serious trip hazard given the big distance to fall. The photos of Dun Laoghaire fishing pier, more than 13m wide, show the immense amount of stuff left on fishing piers.
  • Smell from whelk bait, very rotten fish which get left on piers, for the 300 residents who live very close to it. This has been complained about in the old harbour, also Wicklow & Arklow where houses are much further away.

On Sunday 23/6/19 at 4.30 pm 17 boxes of stinking crabs were left for many hours by a big refrigerated HGV, no fishermen around.

  • The North basin is a stagnant body of water, fairly clear at the moment. Extra waste is likely to produce a scum and foul water. Dead fish were a problem in the water around the fishing area mooring before.

Extensive fishing in Greystones ceased in the 1930s with the collapse of the harbour. This was slip launch based and excellent slipways are now available. In the last 40 years there has been no significant fishing in Greystones. Access was only available from the difficult round end of the old Kish base and most moorings were aground all tide. In East winds it was very dangerous and boat insurance could not be obtained. Boats had to taken out of the water or go to Dun Laoghaire when a storm was forecast.

 The needs of the 1 person commercially fishing a small boat part time from the harbour were not catered for when Bord Pleanala requested a redesign, following 6,000 submissions in 2006. I requested the boat yard be made smaller which would have helped him but was ignored. Some fishing interests were compensated. Some facilities, much improved from the old harbour, were offered and moorings laid, a few years ago but were rejected. There now appear to be 3 much larger boats requesting better facilities. Commercial fishing is a big & profitable business and it concerns me that while most businesses deal with their odours and waste, in fishing it seems to be expected that the community will deal with this.

 Whelk stocks are at risk of localised collapse in places as the value has risen from €660 to €1400 a ton due to demand from Korea & Taiwan. Blue Marine Foundation recommends catches be recorded & managed to prevent collapse. This is not being done.

Boat parks, clubhouses and good public launching facilities have been provided to the anglers, rowers, divers, sailors and Sea Scouts. Many hundreds of people who live in Greystones, who did not use it before, are now using the harbour and sea.  Hundreds also now have homes in the area and around 12 work within the harbour. There are also tourism jobs in the town due to it. These are at risk if industrial fishing is allowed.

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