Several fishermen in Alderney have gone on a ‘crab boycott’ after taking issue with the future installation of a new pontoon.
A historic lack of maintenance has seen the island’s visitor pontoon reduce in size over the years, to the point where visitors to the island were having to climb ladders up the side of the port to get ashore.
The ongoing issue with the island’s pontoon led to the General Services Committee proposing a new one to be built.
The most recent update came courtesy of the Harbour Authority who said: “Work is due to begin on the installation of the extended pontoon facility after Easter weekend. This project will include replacing and reinforcing the shore-based structures which anchor the existing pontoon and will result in a delay in the introduction of the pontoon in its entirety. The expected completion date is now the end of April.”
The final pontoon will be L-shaped and take up more room, covering an area historically used by some fishermen to land their catches. It's this change that seems to have led to a disagreement between some fishermen and the government.
In a Facebook post one fisherman said: “Our mooring arrangements have been altered and don’t suit,” going on to state that “there is no local fish or shellfish being sold for the [foreseeable] future in Alderney”.
Express has reached out to the person in question for comment.
The decision has been made just before the Easter weekend, when many restaurants on the island will be wanting fresh seafood for visitors to the island.
Lin Maurice is the Chair of the GSC and said she is “bewildered by the decision”.
“Conversations have already been had and I thought everything was all arranged,” she said. “In their opinion they’ve lost a permanent mooring, but they never had a permanent mooring there.”
She argues that there is a specific place to moor just by the commercial quay, and even then “[they] can still moor [their] boats in front of the [new] pontoon when it’s not in use".
“The pontoon has to go in for the safety of passengers – we need a proper pontoon, before this they were just scrabbling up ladders.”
The pontoon is reportedly going to cost the States of Alderney £140,000.
Pictured top: The current pontoon.
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