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Peterhead is one of the UK’s most versatile ports, providing exceptional all-weather, congestion-free deepwater berthing facilities at depths of up to 14 metres and serving a broad range of industries including oil and gas, renewables, fishing and leisure.
Peterhead Port Authority is a trust port and an independent statutory body created by its own local legislation. The organisation was formed on 1st January 2006 following a merger of Peterhead Harbour Trust and Peterhead Bay Authority. The organisation is responsible for holding, managing, maintaining and developing the Port of Peterhead. All profits generated from operations are re-invested into the port for the benefit of stakeholders and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business.
There has been a fishing harbour at Peterhead for more than 400 years and the success of the town has been closely linked to the level of trade using the harbour. The harbour experienced boom years associated with whaling, herring and whitefish species. These were also very hard times when stocks were depleted, prices low or schemes imposed to decommission boats. However a series of strategic investments to provide modern and capable harbour facilities has now helped project Peterhead to being the largest fishing port in the UK.
During the late nineteenth century, there was a considerable concern at the loss of life and craft at sea. A plan to provide several Harbours of Refuge along the east coast of Britain was made, but the only Scottish development occurred at Peterhead. A male prison was constructed to provide convict labour to build the breakwaters, work on which started in 1886 and continued until completion in 1956, interrupted only by the two world wars.
By the time the harbour was completed, sail had given way to power and there was no longer a requirement for a Harbour of Refuge. The sheltered bay created by the breakwaters was little used until the discovery of oil in the North Sea. The strategic location of Peterhead made it an ideal centre for servicing the offshore oil and gas industry. The provision of purpose built support bases and deep water berthing has enabled Peterhead to develop its role as an important centre for this industry.
Today Peterhead is a versatile port which provides deep-water berthing for a broad range of industries including fishing, oil and gas, renewables, agricultural products and leisure. Users enjoy a prompt and efficient port call together with a positive approach to customer service.