Anger at pier fishing ban

Adam Guy at Rothesay Pier.
Adam Guy at Rothesay Pier.

Anger has been expressed at the sudden and unexplained end of fishing on Rothesay Pier by Argyll & Bute Council.

Tracey Guy contacted the local authority on July 11 to ask why the pier was suddenly closed, leaving her 15-year-old son Adam unable to fish there.

The council has explained that the area has been “restricted for the safety of the public”, highlighting a “number of incidents” involving discarded fishing equipment.

Speaking before the council’s response to The Buteman, Tracey was angry that after nearly a month she still could not get answers from the council to her questions.

She said: “I take my son down to the pier, which has been used for fishing for 100 years or so. It’s something that as man and boy, folk remember doing it. I was about to drop him off as normal but it was fenced off with a sign up saying no fishing.

“So I got in contact with the council. I spoke to a lady who was very helpful. She phoned the local harbour master’s office but had no response. So I asked for an email response.

“I left it, then called back again on July 20. This time the lady said she would go to someone more senior. But again I had no response.

“I want to know when was the pier closed? Who made the decision and on what grounds? Why wasn’t the public notified via social media? And when will it open again?

“I can’t get a response. There is nothing on social media. I’m really not very happy about it at all. I have put an FOI in so I’m waiting to hear back on that. Why can’t the girls on the council helpline even get a response from these folks?”

Tracey believes fishing on the pier is an important activity for many local people.

She said: “People moan that there is nothing for kids to do. Then this happens.

“Everybody understands that whenever a ferry comes in you need to stop, but it’s never been a problem.

“Adam started going when he was eight. He has been catching fish, gutting them, smoking them for a long time. During the summer holidays, it’s very important for him to be able to pursue his past times.

“It’s very popular down there and very popular with the Syrian folk as well. It’s a great way for them to mix with the locals in a relaxed family atmosphere.

“It’s a great wee community down there fishing. Very friendly.”

A council spokesperson said: “As the waters are busy with ferry traffic the area is restricted for the safety of the public. Additionally, there have been a number of incidents in the past where pier workers have been injured by discarded fishing equipment.”