Harbour News 1–24 March 2021

62 arrivals for the period
Ullapool Harbour Trust continues to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic; supporting vital transport links to the Western Isles and handling routine fishing and commercial traffic. Harbour services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the harbour can be contacted by phone, email and VHF. Strict social distancing and hygiene measures are in place with restricted access to the harbour building which remains locked at all times.
Whitefish totalled 20,000 boxes from sixteen Scottish trawl, six Anglo longline and one Anglo freezer netter landing. The Scottish fleet has started to target haddocks and monkfish at Rockall with reasonable results to date. Uncertainty over annual quota allocations, a reduction in North Sea allowances and post-Brexit export delays are signalling a very uncertain future for the Scottish sector. The Anglo longline fleet continues to fish for hake and ling along the deepwater edge with reasonable results and the freezer netter landed a boat-load of processed monkfish from distant waters.

The shellfish sector has been much busier lately with twenty-six prawn trawl landings from east and west coast vessels combining with the efforts of the local fleet. Prawns seem to be abundant in the Minch; a strong spring fishery is well underway. As with the other catching sectors, markets and prices remain unpredictable due to the inevitable delays caused by post-Brexit imposed paperwork and checking procedures.

Non-fishing was busy and varied. The fish farm sector comprised eight arrivals with most vessels day-running. The brand wellboat Aqua Skye (pictured) made her maiden call for fuel and a crew change. Built in Turkey the Aqua Skye is the fifth in a series of six wellboats for Dess Aquaculture Shipping. Using reverse osmosis the ship converts 4,500 cubic metres of seawater to fresh water daily and these on-board swimming pools of fresh water are used to treat salmon and remove any sea lice without the need for chemical intervention. With a crew of nine, the Skye Aqua will undertake twenty eight-day trips with crew changing and fuelling taking place in Ullapool. The Dutch pelagic pair team Wiron 5 and 6 called in for shelter and fuel, the recently refurbished landing craft Tanera Queen came in for a load of steel beams, the dredger Shearwater visited for fuel and the MCA tug Ievoli Black carried out a 24-hour layover.

Shore Street Project Update
Following two very well attended and successful pre-application consultations with the local community via ZOOM, Affric Consultants have received 73 completed online questionnaires to accompany the Marine License application. If you have the time, please complete a questionnaire using the following link www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XBZ79RK as this is the primary method of communication being used. Alternatively feel free to email info@ullapool-harbour.co.uk or call 01854 612724 to discuss any concerns or ideas you wish to be considered. The deadline for receipt of completed questionnaires is 29th March. Please note that Ullapool Harbour Trust does not and will not respond to correspondence in the local newspaper.