Macduff Harbour provides easier access to ice for fishing vessels

Following recent developments at Macduff Harbour for the benefit of the fishing industry, vessels can now take ice on board more easily to help keep catches fresh while at sea.

The harbour has recently taken delivery of an ice hopper to allow ice to be quickly and easily transported on board, avoiding the need for vessels to call in at another harbour to collect ice on their way to fishing grounds.

The fabrication of the ice hopper is an interim solution provided by the harbour while options for a permanent ice facility are explored.

It is secured on top of the vessel's existing shelter deck hatch and is fitted with a twelve-inch flexible hose which allows ice to be distributed directly into the fish hold.

Ice is generally delivered to the harbour in plastic bins which are lifted off the transport using the harbour forklift.

The boat's derrick then lifts the ice bins onto the shelter deck from the pier, where the ice is tipped into the new hopper.  

Delivery of ice to the harbour is generally organised by the vessel directly, but ice can also be ordered directly from the harbour office or from The Real Mackay Ltd (01542) 833949.

Other recent developments at the harbour include the provision of a cold room in the fishmarket to help keep catches fresh, with capacity to store 400 boxes of fish or prawns.

A new road layout has been approved at the harbour and additional car parking facilities have already been installed. There have also been a number of new safety and operational systems of work created to optimise harbour and slipway use. 

The relaxation on regulations regarding fish landings at Macduff has seen an increase in activity and the new facilities will further support the catching sector.

The Harbour also has a new permanent Harbourmaster, with the appointment of Duncan Mackie, who has been acting in the role.