Harbour News 1-28 November 2023

70 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 6,100 boxes from six Scottish trawl and a single Anglo freezer netter landing. A small group of Scottish trawlers continues to work west mainly targeting monkfish. The Banff- registered Endeavour IV is currently working in Faroe waters with large haddock, cod and monkfish the order of the day. Whitefish market prices have been poor in recent weeks due to imported frozen Icelandic whitefish destabilising both demand and market prices. A single Anglo freezer netter landed two lorry loads of processed-at-sea frozen monkfish for export to Spain.

The shellfish sector has picked up with a number of migrant prawn trawlers working the Minches and running in to Ullapool to land and take ice. A total of twenty-three landings plus the efforts of the resident fleet combined to deliver the busiest month for quite some time. The locally owned prawn trawler Sustain floundered on rocks at the entrance to the harbour channel opposite the lighthouse on the evening of 16 November. Despite best recovery efforts at high-water, the following morning Sustain would not float off and the three-man crew was recovered by Lochinver lifeboat and returned to the harbour.  In the calm days that followed and as the tides fell, the nets and fuel were removed from the trawler by the local fish farm vessel Glen Scotia.  Unfortunately there then ensued south-westerly winds followed by northerly strong winds which have all but destroyed the old wooden hull. The harbour has been working with the owners, insurers, MCA, MAIB and the local fish farm to ensure best practice in reducing the environmental impact.

Non-fishing was once again busy mostly consisting of aquaculture-related activity.  Thirty-five vessels included tankships which called in for fuel and crew and small landing craft availing of shelter from the storms. In addition, the inshore research vessels Ondine Jule and Roman Rebel called in for crew and equipment and the MCA tug Ievoli Black visited for her monthly fuel and crew change.

The harbour recently advertised for new Trustees and received six applications by the deadline. Interviews have been conducted and three new Trustees have been selected to take up office from 1 December. Details of the new board members will be displayed on the harbour website from that date. We would like to express our appreciation to all the candidates who took the time to apply and attend for interview.  Our departing Trustees – Topher Dawson, Roy MacPherson and Jo Munro have afforded years of commitment and dedicated service to the harbour over the past years – in particular through some key phases of its development and their loyalty and contribution is much appreciated.

The vacancy for harbour assistant has also been filled; we also offer our appreciation and best wishes to all eight candidates who applied.

Winter lights will be switched on at 17.30pm on Friday 1 December.  New festoon poles and lights have been installed along the promenade.  The under-cope lighting has finally been completed by BEAR Scotland with a couple of days to spare.  Unfortunately the ferry is on an amended timetable and will not be in the harbour to sound the whistle for lights-on.  Alternative plans are in place involving a dingy, torch and hooter!