Harbour News 1– 24 October 2017

26 arrivals for the period  

Whitefish landing totalled 1600 boxes from one Scottish trawler and 2 Anglo Spanish liners, quiet times as the fleet continue to fish further north.

Shellfish effort was mainly crab landings from the offshore creeler Our Hazel, plus a couple of prawn landings from local waters and the efforts of the resident fleet. The harbour received a boost with the arrival of a new vessel to Ullapool the True Vine, owned and skippered by Gairloch lad Sandy Mackenzie. Sandy purchased the vessel in Harris and sailed her across between the hurricanes before spending the week setting up the fishing gear and undertaking sea trials. Best wishes and good luck with your new command from all at Ullapool Harbour.

Non-fishing was once again the busiest sector with 17 arrivals. The civilian SMIT support vessels were day-running as part of the biannual NATO exercise along with a couple of warships in for fuel. The fishfarm sector was steady with landing crafts and live fish carrying tank ships making several calls to pick up equipment and to transfer smolts and wrasse to local farms.

Harbour projects

The Wee Jetty upgrade is progressing well with the work going out to tender and a couple of funders showing an interest in financially supporting the works. As the jetty is the only access to the sea for boat-launching in Ullapool village it is vitally important that the structure is safe and functional. Recreational boating is an important part of village life with a 200 plus combined membership of the local sailing, coastal rowing and moorings associations plus kayakers, divers and visiting sailors all making daily use of the now almost derelict structure.

The harbour has also been working with disability groups and interested local parties to look at installing a Changing Place (http://www.changing-places.org/) in the lower floor of the public toilet building. The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of the over 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. The harbour will lead on this project and has submitted a funding application to the Transport Scotland Accessibility Fund and has had pledges of financial support from Calmac and possibly Hitrans. The Changing Place will occupy some of the lower floor with the remaining area potentially being used as a much needed home for the Ullapool Men’s Shed group, who currently use the village hall as a temporary base for their activities. https://www.facebook.com/UllapoolMensShed.net/

Fishing infrastructure is also being developed with a landing derrick and a new chilled prawn store and bait freezer facility both out for tender, early indications are that both will be eligible for funding.

The current harbour administration has spent the last 10 years consolidating the business and managing the investment of £25M in repairing and replacing ageing harbour infrastructure. The community owned business is now both financially and structurally secure and can look to the future with optimism. New developments such as a sheltered inner harbour, safe pedestrian access along Shore Street and enhanced leisure sailor facilities are all projects worthy of consideration in the next decade.

Trustee appointments, many thanks to all those that applied, interviews will take place in early November and successful applicants will take-up office on 1st December 2017.