Fishermen oppose £20m Falmouth harbour dredging scheme
Fishermen have vowed to battle proposals to dredge Falmouth harbour amid an environmental row.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) gave Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) consent for a dredging trial to begin next month.
FHC chiefs want to build a marina and wharves for huge luxury liners, but the harbour needs to be dredged to make it deep enough.
Protesters say maerl beds providing habitat for sea-life will be destroyed.
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The move comes under the Port of Falmouth Development Initiative that includes FHC, Cornwall Council, A&P Falmouth, Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth Petroleum Ltd and Cornwall Development Company.
Council chiefs said they will help pay for full-scale dredging which could cost around £20 million.
But fishermen say they will oppose proposals for taxpayers' money to be used.
Fisherman Chris Ranger said: "Previous fisheries, such as the Thames cockle fishery and an oyster fishery in Southampton, were completely wiped out by a dredge nearby."
Chris Ridgers, the council's cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: "It's vital we have this scheme to encourage more people into the port. It provides a guarantee for the future of the port."