Whitefish totalled 4900 boxes from 2 Scottish twin-rig trawlers and 10 Anglo Spanish liner/netters. The Scottish boats continue to target monkfish and ling on the shelf edge despite the stormy weather; unfortunately prices for prime fish have dropped dramatically, as have catch rates, making for difficult times ahead. The Anglo vessels land very good hauls of hake from deepwater grounds; again prices have been poor for top quality fish.
The shellfish sector has struggled with the relentless stormy weather; both fishing returns and prices have been reasonable for prawns and crabs when the boats can get working.
The non-fishing sector saw the workboat Tie Venture in for a load of heating oil for Scoraig primary school, the fish-farm bulk carrier Harvest Anne was in for shelter and the coaster Isis was in for a load of timber. Ullapool Harbour has recently been asked to trial the export of locally felled timber by sea to Workington with the Isis carrying over 600 tonnes of wood from Lael. A second consignment of 2500 tonnes will be loaded on the Scot Ranger later this week once the weather abates.
The Morefield Industrial Estate project is well underway with local firm Ullapool Construction ahead of schedule due to the mild weather, – pity about the recent rain and wind!
The arrival of a new Ullapool – Stornoway ferry in June 2014 requires some key infrastructure improvements in the next 16 months on both sides of the Minch. The Ullapool ferry pier will be extended by 35m to accommodate the much larger ship, a new passenger gangway system will be designed and built and traffic lights will be installed to assist with ferry traffic at busy times. In order to keep the public informed of these developments, an open meeting will be held in the Ullapool ferry terminal building at 1900 on Monday 25th February. A presentation on the new vessel will be made by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (the owners), after which there will be a question and answer session with pier designers Wallace Stone. Ullapool Harbour Trust shall be in attendance. All welcome.
The Tall Ship Wylde Swan is currently heading for Cuba before crossing the Atlantic and returning home to Holland for a pre-season paint and refit. The owners have indicated that they are very keen to return to Ullapool for another series of adventure voyages and provisional dates have been set for mid-August for a 3-week period.
The Ullapool High School fund-raising harbour car wash was as ever very well supported by locals and a few tourists. Many thanks as ever for your continuing generosity.