Commercial Fishermen & Greystones Harbour: Issues 29/6/19

On Monday the Councillors met the 3 fishermen. And on Thursday met them and the marina operators, Sisk, Council staff and Bord Iasce Mara.

Options.

North Pier. Access problems for commercial vehicles and 600 residents, and safety on pier. 7 residents have written complaining of danger and intimidation and want to be represented.

South pier. Enough space? Reconfigure boatyard? Need for subsidy to replace income, truck access through children launching? Alter pier? Might work.

Placing a pier/pontoon out from the narrow slipway in the public harbour. Now to be investigated for feasibility.

I think that any solution should be in the public section of the harbour not the North Basin:

·        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. Some front doors are only 3m from road with HGVs. 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. 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, from cleaning fishing boats, is likely to produce a scum and foul water. Dead fish were a problem in the water around the fishing mooring area before and in Dun Laoghaire.

·        Nearness to fishing stores already built in public harbour.

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 (who supported the project) commercially fishing a small boat 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, improved from the old harbour, were offered and moorings laid, a few years ago but were rejected as not practical. There now appear to be 3 larger boats requesting better facilities.

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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