View Full Version : Two far north creel boats in £10,000 claim

8th October 2009, 00:11
Originally by the press and journal

Published: 07/10/2009

Two creel-fishing businesses are seeking compensation after claiming more than £10,000 worth of their gear was ripped asunder off the Caithness coast by a visiting clam boat.

The owners of the Marea B and the Boy Ritchie accuse the Oban-registered Star of Annan of causing the damage.

Fishery officers are investigating whether the vessel was fishing illegally in the area.

John Burnett, who owns the 36ft Marea B, has logged details of the movements of the Star of Annan in the area on Sunday, September 20.

Mr Burnett, of 30 Ackergill Street, Wick, said he contacted the Star of Annan’s skipper as his vessel approached.

He said: “I phoned him as he was towing up towards my creel gear. He told me he had caught the creels and that he had one of my creels on board his boat, which he would give me in Wick Harbour on the Thursday.”

Mr Burnett found 110 creels missing from the original 240.

The value of the missing gear is £6,600.

He said he has made no headway in his numerous attempts to seek redress from John MacAllister, who owns the Star of Annan.

Mr Burnett said: “I have been working creels in this area for 25 years and over that time I have never had any bother from local scallop boats.

“I think it is awful that clammers can tow inside the three degree line and get away with causing thousands of pounds of damage.”

The reference is to the line of longitude inside which vessels are not permitted to deploy mobile gear.

A similar grievance is being pursued by Thurso butcher Alan Harrold, who jointly owns the Boy Ritchie with his son-in-law and full-time skipper Ritchie Taylor, from Wick.

They claim to have lost 60 creels and gear worth more than £4,000.

Mr Harrold, 61, said yesterday: “The dredger was well inside the three degree line at the time, though they have totally denied it.”

Mr McAllister, who was not present at the time, yesterday said he was currently investigating the claims made against the Star of Annan.

He added: “Before I get the full facts, it would be inappropriate to comment.”

Thought id have a shot at Davies job! :p

Davie Tait
8th October 2009, 19:37
Good job you did Marcus that story wasn't in the NE edition of the P & J this morning !!!

8th October 2009, 21:54
Heard about this aswell although it wasn't in our edition of the P&J either :confused:

There was creels towed away near here a couple of weeks ago too, was only one boat towing in the area at the time :rolleyes: :mad: