Blitz on Fife’s stinky seaweed

editorial image

Two of the most popular spots on the East Neuk tourist trail are smelling sweeter again after Fife Council removed ‘significant’ amounts of seaweed.

Anstruther and Cleeardyke harbours had become piled high with the algae, prompting complaints from visitors and local residents.

The offending material was taken to landfill for disposal.

Lead professional Ross Speirs explained: “Our harbours and beaches along the coast can become overwhelmed with significant amounts of seaweed.

“The amounts deposited depend on tides and the weather but when our harbourmasters take the view that it needs to be cleared, guided by the council’s policy on seaweed clearance, our contractors come in to clean up.

“This is usually necessary three or four times each year.

“We have recently cleared both Anstruther and Cellardyke harbours. The seaweed is taken to a local landfill site for disposal. Unfortunately it’s not possible to recycle or compost the seaweed as it becomes contaminated with other materials at sea. We don’t have accurate weights or costs from this latest clean up but in a similar exercise in January this year we cleared the Castle Street beach at Anstruther with works valued at £3900 and the beach frontage at Cellardyke with works valued at £3400.

“Costs vary year on year, however for the last four financial years the average cost per year for seaweed clearance over the various north east Fife council harbours is in the region of £9400.”