No cash for tugs
SCOTLAND minister David Mundell has said the government’s Department of Tranport has no money to pay for coastguard emergency towing vessels after the end of the year.
Mr Mundell was in Shetland on Tuesday meeting stakeholders as part of the Scotland Office’s commitment for finding the money to pay for the retention of the two tugs covering Scotland.
He said the money would have to be found from a third party, such as the oil and gas industry, or from another government department.
Maritime & Coastguard Agency chief executive Sir Alan Massey, also in Shetland visiting staff, said he thought the Lerwick station had a long term future but was less confident about the emergency tugs.
Last month the government found £3 million to retain the four tugs for a further three months while they find alternative sources of funding.
New drugs dog handler
SNIFFER dog charity Dogs Against Drugs has appointed 32 year old Ewan Anderson, from Aith, as its second dog handler.
Mr Anderson and his red Labrador Blade have just passed the first phase of drugs dog training at Durham Police Dog School and is now a special constable with Northern Constabulary.
Charity chairman Ian Davidge said the appointment had been paid for by oil company Petrofac who are building Total’s new gas plant at Sullom Voe. Funding will continue for three years.
New chair of NAFC
THE NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway has appointed local fishing industry veteran Ertie Nicolson to chair its board of trustees after the resignation of former councillor Iris Hawkins.
Mr Nicolson has been involved in the Shetland seafood industry since 1963, building fish factories in Lerwick which became the first to process farmed salmon in the isles.
He later joined Shetland Islands Council ending up as fisheries development officer until his retirement four years ago, when he took up the post of vice chairman.
He said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed chair. These are exciting times for the whole seafood industry and it is good to be part of that, supporting the sector both now and for the future.”
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