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Falmouth Trial Dredge Underway

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6:42am 21st September 2012

A trial gets underway to dredge Falmouth Harbour.

It is to see whether a rare type of seaweed can survive the work needed to let bigger cruise ships dock.

The test will involve stripping Maerl off the seabed, storing it in seawater for 12 hours and then re-laying it.

Fishermen warn conditions will not be the same as the full-scale project.

Skipper David Thomas said he is angry they are being asked to pay: "I believe that is obscene, that fishermen should be asked to contribute, through their council tax, to the funding of a dredging which is never going to benefit them in any way whatsoever and could potentially destroy their livelihoods.

"It will only answer one question; is it possible to pick up maerl, store it for twelve hours, drop it down again in perfect conditions and will it recover? The main dredge conditions will be far from perfect."

Harbour Master Mark Sansom says dredging will bring big money and hundreds of jobs: "And also, the forecast is that if we fail to dredge and develop the port then we will reach a point where it ceases to be a viable commercial port, so obviously Falmouth Harbour Commissioners are very supportive of the dredging."

6:42am 21st September 2012

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