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NEWS AND VIEWS NOVEMBER 2004 

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Contributing to News and Views

At this moment (4th Dec) there are no contributions to be published so here are a few thoughts from the editor. But don't be discouraged. Lets hear from you.

Fortress Aberdeen 2

News, news, news!! Responding to the inhabitants of Fittie the Aberdeen Harbour Board have contacted the UK security authority, Transco? no that's the gas company, and it now turns out that they will not have to fence off Pocra Quay. Of course this may leave some ships accessible to the public, to the point where they can walk up to the side and touch the paintwork. People will also be able to drive their cars up the narrow roadway between the cement tanks and the back walls of the Fittie cottages, and park up on the curve of the North Breakwater between the Pilot Jetty and the Round House. Thus moments of Sunday afternoon enjoyment have been saved for numerous Aberdonians, and the residents of some part so Fittie will still be able to get to their houses.

This is a victory for common sense, and it ensures that contact between the public and the harbour will be maintained, just.  

Vic Gibson

The Departure of the Triton 8

We read the other day that the Triton 8 had been purchased by Middle East buyers - no what you may ask? Well, interestingly the Triton 8, orignally called the Oil Challenger, was the first all aft supply vessel, predating the latest offering from Vik Sandvik by 30 years.

It was built as a pipe carrier when there were none, and at a time when the idea of 200 feet of deck extending astern of the accommodation of a supply vessel seemed less than sensible. Pipelayers were barges with freeboards which made them extremely vulnerable to adverse weather, but with the arrival of the semi-submersible pipe barge Viking Piper a new era was ushered in, and the Oil Challenger was part of the new world. However, like many other marine projects at the time, things were not destined to go smoothly. Because of the attitudes of the moorings of the Viking Piper, the Oil Challenger could only lie alongside in one position, and when it was in that position the accommodation kept coming into contact with bits of the pipelayer. There was therefore no option but to take the ship away and hope something nice was going to happen to it.

It was purchased by Heerema who have operated it for 20 years as a heavy lift carrier.

The North Sea Fish Stocks

The Aberdeen media is consumed with the fish crisis. An international report published during the last few days suggests that large areas of the North Sea be turned into No Go Areas for fishing vessel, this in order to ensure the continued existence of the fish stocks. Of course the fishermen are protesting, in the modern style they are want to ensure a continued and possibly large income for themselves, at the possible expense of any income at all for their descendents. Anyone who thinks this might not be true should go to any Mediterranean fishing port and see what sort of catch the fishermen land. In Greece they do catch swordfish, but even on the quayside it is an alarmingly expensive dish. If you go to a Greek Restaurant you have to negotiate a price for the fish you fancy eating - which at the time of the discussion is locked behind glass. Imagine doing that in the Torry Fish Bar.

To avoid this eventuality the existing fish stocks need to be protected, and in case for the first time ever you think we are sounding alarmingly like Greenpeace supporters, you are only right in part. We continue to advocate cutting off redundant offshore structures at the knees and allowing then to collapse into the sea. The resulting piles of scrap iron would be ideal breeding grounds for fish, and the fishermen would keep away for fear of snagging their nets. This fulfils several objectives in one shot. Firstly we get rid of the old platforms at virtually no cost, secondly we reduce the areas of the North Sea available for fishing and thirdly we provide a wonderful breeding ground for our fishy friends . What's the alternative? An expensive and dangerous removal process and no fish. And if there are no fish does it matter whether there are any pollutants in the platforms anyway?

 

Vic Gibson

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