Tuesday, 5 July 2011

"Nairnshire" Harbour Ban Correction

After reading the local Newspaper The Nairnshire Telegraph I was dismayed to see what I consider to be an over the top distortion of what I was calling for. The first sentence declares that I was looking for a "Blanket Ban", Then the Editorial states ".... ban fishing around the mouth of the River Nairn ? " These are misleading distortions of the email I sent to local councillors on this issue. I have not called for a fishing ban affecting the river or the east or west piers.

Readers can judge for themselves the content of my letter in it's entirety to the regional councillors.

Dear Councillors,

Yesterday I had to free two cygnets being tangled up in fishing line within the harbour. As you are aware this could have been lethal to one of our tourist attractions, and has happened on several occasions
The SSPCA were also called yesterday and the inspector agreed with me that fishing within the harbour seemed foolish and dangerous.

With this in mind I would be grateful if fishing was banned from the harbour walls for the sake of the wildlife. The swans use the harbour on a daily basis depending on the tide. When they come down the river close to the wall they cannot be seen by children at the high entrance to the harbour. Fishing rods and lines are often left unattended hanging over the harbour entrance and are lethal because they cannot be seen by the Swans !

With 11 swans now in the river it is essential that some action be taken before there is a tragedy.
I am sure all right minded people would appreciate the common sense value of such a ban.
Please act without delay and have a sign erected on the smoke shed entrance to the harbour.


Yours Sincerely,
on behalf of the wildlife
Joe Telfer.

Readers will notice there is no reference asking for a ban at the river mouth, or east or west piers - which are not the entrance to the harbour !

I have been quite specific about the danger zone, which is the narrow entrance to the harbour.

If a Ban is not possible then at the very least a warning sign at the Smoke shed pier should be erected without delay. It would do no harm to have one at the end of the west pier as well. If you don't know where the smoke shed pier is, I include photo's showing harbour entrance and pier. I have already covered this subject in depth on previous posts and I'm sure everyone is aware of what I've said and what I want.

Perhaps our two River Community Councillors, Tommy Hogg and the writer of the article John Dolan would like to interfere and get the region to do something about the filthy harbour litter ? I have often cleaned this myself in the past it takes about 5 minutes to do one end. This is a very bad advert for Nairn's tourism industry and sets a bad example to kids to leave their fishing tackle litter as well. Have we no civic pride in the state of our harbour ?


Anonymous said...

This is outrageous - call that journalism? Maybe you should be a community councillor Joe?

jayteescot1 said...

I was offered to join the River community council some time ago - but declined. I consider myself too much of a loose cannon and actually like to achieve something.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I was quite shocked by your behavior towards a woman feeding the birds on the river today.

She looked visibly shaken as you charged up like a mad man clapping and waving your arms wildly.

While most of us locals are quite used to your shenanigans, this behavior towards a lone woman and child is just not on.

I'm pretty sure it would have been a different story if it had been a man and child.
I think you have to remember that it is a PUBLIC footpath and while you have your ideas of how people should behave on the footpath, not everyone agrees with it and if someone wants to feed seagulls, then they should be free to do so.
They after all are just the same as ducks and swans, they have been part of the eco-structure of the river before any of us were around.
So if you were to look at it impartially, I’m sure that you would agree that it is you who is doing the harm encouraging wild animals to be dependent on humans feeding them.

Just a thought…..

jayteescot1 said...

I got the impression the lady was not shaken at all and was quite understanding as to why I was clapping my hands to chase the gulls away. She was in fact trying to feed the ducks but throwing handfuls of broken scones which were too large and hard for the ducks to swallow...not so for the gulls ! After showing her a photo of a gull with a duckling in it's beak she realised why I was doing it since there are still a couple of mother ducks with ducklings less than a week old in the area !
Gulls are meat eaters and not the same as ducks and swans.
If people want to feed the gulls then they should do it where it won't cost the life of the other birds, such as the beach. Many people are unaware the gulls eat other birds, I don't think anyone would like to see the swans island become a gull colony !
As you were quick to point out, the lady was feeding the gulls - along with dozens of others who feed the birds on the river, so they are not dependent on me alone feeding them. However I do try to feed them the right kind of food the appropriate size, and presented in such a way that is safe for them without being harrassed by gulls. I merely try to educate others and I do educate men with children too !

Melanie Beck said...

I agree with all your points Joe and good on you for reminding the lady that feeding gulls is a bad idea. We have had to tell people outside our house to stop feeding them and managed to get signs put up. Keep up the good work! Tell me a paper that doesn't distort the truth! I wish u luck with the ban :) Melanie

Anonymous said...

The point I made about gulls being the same as swans/ducks is that they are indigenous to the river, we are not.
Yes gulls are meat eaters and ducklings are meat, as sad as it is when it happens, it is part of what nature is all about.
I'm sure that's one of the reasons that ducks and swans have so many young.
I'm not a lover of gulls in anyway, my main point was that you should tone it down a little and maybe speak to the person before you start the scarecrow(gull) antic's, it might stop them from jumping out of their skin when you come running!
Those kind of antics drive people away from enjoying the river and it's wildlife.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon, there is no need for a self-appointed river warden to shout at people.

jayteescot1 said...

Perhaps if anon and others would have a quiet word with people who draw the gulls down on top of the ducklings(that is not part of nature), then I wouldn't have to keep doing it all myself.
It is possible to feed the ducks and swans without drawing down hordes of marauding gulls.
( I will divulge later how people can do this ) I feel passionate about the wildlife, but admit I am a bit loud, usually because I am trying to prevent the damage being done before I get close enough to the people involved.