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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Pollution at Stornoway

At the end of May, a vessel could be seen hovering around Stornoway Harbour, removing rubbish from the seabed. Stornoway Port Authority published the results of this clear-up today (4 July), announcing that 23 skips of discarded waste had been removed from the seabed in Stornoway Harbour. This waste consisted of trawler warps and other paraphernalia of the fishing trade. This comes 3 years after the harbour was last dredged, at a cost of £50,000. This year's operation cost £20,000.

The Port Authority told BBC On-line that it was deeply concerned about the very high levels of so-called polycyclic aromatic carbons, chemicals closely associated with oil. It is suspected that vessels pump their contaminated bilge water overboard, which is illegal. The levels of pollution found in silt from Stornoway Harbour have been found to be so high, that it may even be refused a license to dredge silt and sediment from the harbour.

Shoreline rubbish collections, which started in February, have yielded 250 bags of waste from the Inner Harbour, with 65 sacks being filled in the first week alone. Stornoway Port Authority is seeking urgent meetings with representatives of the fishermen to find a solution to these problems.

It should be pointed out that it is illegal to dump anything at sea. This applies to those who work at sea as well as to passengers on board ferries. Do not throw anything overboard, but collect it and hand it in at the first port of call.

On a related point, a reminder to vessels visiting UK ports (such as Stornoway) from an overseas port that it is ILLEGAL to bring animals ashore (such as dogs, cats etc.), under rabies prevention legislation.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 18:43


Hi Arnish. Do you know how boats are supposed to deal with bilge water? Are they supposed to have the water taken onto the land and disposed of in a certain way? If this costs as much as it does to take things to our local rubbish dump it is an expensive thing to do.I presume the most likely way of encouraging boat owners to dispose of their bilge water correctly would be to make the service free. Our rubbish dump is now charging people a lot of money to dispose of things with a likely consequence that people are being encourage to start fly tipping. ( thankfully not the case yet ) Like the bilge problem, it may be a false economy to charge people as clearing up is more costly. .

pondhead from Mull

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