Harbour News 1–14 January 2019

27 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 2,600 boxes from four Scottish trawl landings. The Inverness-registered Adventurer II made three landings of quality monkfish, cod, haddock and squid. The Banff- registered Endeavour IV landed a big shot of quality species from the same grounds. For the past six weeks, boats have been enjoying rich pickings of high value species combined with a very welcome bycatch of large squid on traditional winter grounds fifty miles north of the Butt of Lewis. Squid is still a non-quota species and a very welcome boost to the tally with mixed boxes fetching prices as high as £180. The Anglo fleet remains north landing into Shetland and Scrabster; hopefully before long they will head south and fish more local waters.

Shellfish boats have been enjoying above average fishing and high prices for many weeks. The prawn creel men report an abundance of good quality animals on the grounds and likewise the trawlers are enjoying a better fishing. The single offshore crabber Our Hazel continues to land and export brown crab to China weekly.

The non-fishing sector was busy and a mixed variety of vessels visiting the harbour. The fish-farm support vessels Viking Junior and Ronja Sky called in for a layover and crew change respectively and Marine Scotland’s research vessel Alba na Mara called in for equipment. Landing craft Carly and fast boats Infinity and Venture West made several visits from early January onwards running crew and equipment to Ocean GreatWhite, the world’s largest semi-submersible offshore drilling rig. Owned by Diamond Offshore, Ocean GreatWhite weighs in at 60,800 tonnes and is a 6th generation harsh environment drilling rig capable of drilling down to 10,000m in 3,000m of water. With a draft of over 23 meters, the rig needs deep water for anchoring. Ocean GreatWhite has made its way from Singapore via Las Palmas in the Canaries over the last five months assisted by the Alp Defender, a large ocean-going offshore supply vessel weighing in at 5,600t. The rig is on her way to Kishorn for refit before taking up drilling operations west of Shetland. It is hoped that the berthing and support to the rig at Kishorn will herald a new era of engagement in the oil and gas industry for Kishorn Port together with providing a welcome employment boost for the west coast.