Fishermen in Girvan have accepted a new harbour fee scheme which will see them paying a combined berthing and landing payment.
In the past, and before the recent £450,000 redevelopment of the harbour, fishermen in Girvan paid both berthing and landing fees seperately.
A meeting of Girvan and district community council heard last week that after duscussions between South Ayrshire Council and Girvan Harbour Users Group, fishermen have agreed to the new payment regime.
Full Year Rates at the harbour are £60 per metre length for Fishing/Commercial Vessels.
Summer Season rates, which run from 1 April 2013 to 31 September 2013, are £150 per metre length for Pontoon Berths and £60 per metre for the river side of the Screen Jetty for private vessels.
In the winter season from 1 October 2013 to 31 March 2014, for pontoon berths all vessels pay £70 per metre with a concessionary discount of 25% available to those who have paid the prior season dues in full.
Councillor Alec Clark told the meeting: “There was some consideration given and a set rate agreed with the operator, but there are a lot of harbour users and we can’t have one rule for one and another for everyone else.
“However that boat does a lot for the harbour and it is a great asset for the harbour and the last thing we want is to drive out local users. We have to make sure the local boats are looked after.
“On the commercial side there are no landing fees at the moment. Users pay a fee per metre and in the case of fishing boats it is £60 per metre.”
Councillor Alec Oattes added: “There has been a lot of investment in the harbour and it is important that the council gets money back from users so that can in turn be re-invested in the harbour.”
Deputy council leader John McDowall said: “There was discussions between pleasure craft users and the council. It was unrealistic to think that they wouldn’t see an increase.
“There was a lot of discussino with the harbour users group and the commercial users agreed a composite fee.”
Girvan Harbour Pontoons offers 35 modern berths, all fully serviced with water and electricity.
CCTV cameras have also been introduced at the harbour to ensure the safety and security of vessels and their users.
The harbour recently saw the introduction of new pontoons as part of the Sailwest project. This will see Girvan promoted along with many other destinations on the west coast of Scotland under the ‘MalinWaters’ brand to promote yachting tourism throughout the area.