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Weymouth fishermen struggling to earn cash due to Olympic security
10:20am Wednesday 1st August 2012 in News
FISHERMEN in Weymouth say they have no work because of Olympic security on the water.
A number of chartered and commercial fishermen who work out of the town harbour say that, despite being told by authorities that it would be business as usual, they are unable to work.
Hugh Cox, chartered and commercial fisherman, said: "We all had a meeting with LOCOG, the police and the military and they said we could carry on normal business during the Games.
"Some of the other fishermen got paid to tie up but they wouldn’t do that with us because they said it would be business as usual.
“When we try and go out we get stopped by security all the time, it’s impossible for us to work.
He added: “I haven’t got any bookings for the next few weeks at all, no one wants to come to Weymouth because they think it’s shut.
“We’ve all got permission to go out but no bookings or work.
“Everyone’s out enjoying themselves with the Olympics and we’re here trying to earn a living but we’ve got nothing.
“All we want to do is go out and do a normal day’s work.”
Brett Hibbitt, another fisherman, said: “I went out on Saturday and I was stopped three times by security who said I wasn’t meant to be there. We’re all tagged and registered with security but Portland Port didn’t have the list of authorised boats with trackers.
“As I was coming back in I radioed HMS Bulwark and they cleared me and thanked me for obeying protocol but then the ship came right up to me and blocked my path.
“I had to do an emergency stop and slam on the anchors, which was very dangerous.
“They were very, very over zealous and I had to get my clearance confirmed again.
“We’re not busy at the moment and after that happened those customers cancelled so I’m also losing business.
“I’m 50 per cent down on business and I don’t think anyone’s going to have fun going fishing with all these security stops all the time.
“Everyone’s been warned not to come here.
“There’s quite a few of us who are struggling, we’re losing our regular customers and not getting any new ones either.
“I’ve made a complaint to the harbour office because I’m making a loss.”
- Superintendent Neil Mantle, of Dorset Police, said: “Following discussions with local fisherman, and at the direction of the Harbourmaster, a variation has been made to the Harbour Revision Order.
“This will help to facilitate their entry and exit to the harbour so they can continue with their day-to-day business. However, not all vessels are fitted with appropriate tracker devices.
“Therefore on occasion Police are required to check vessels as part of security measures.
“These measures are only temporary and we’re sure people understand that they are in place to ensure a safe environment.