Harbour News 11 March to 6 April 2015


83 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 10,000 boxes from 31 Anglo Spanish and 5

Scottish landings. The Anglo fleet are enjoying fantastic fishing with boats landing good shots of quality hake weekly. The Scottish fleet of trawlers are starting to look for haddock at both St Kilda and Rockall. The Peterhead pair team Harvester and Ocean Harvest fished St Kilda waters for haddock with disappointing results and have headed back to the North Sea. A small fleet of vessels are targeting the seasonal Rockall haddock fishery with mixed results. The Orkney registered Aalskere landed a full boat load but has struggled to find fish on the next trip and likewise Inverness registered Adventure has found the fishing very variable.

The shellfish sector has also been very busy with 31 vessels landing prawns for the period. The displaced Scottish North Sea vessels continue to twin trawl the North Minch as do a couple of boats from Northern Ireland. Fishing has largely been pretty poor which comes as no surprise given the hammering these grounds have taken over the past two years. The offshore crabbers continue to land decent hauls of crab weekly and the local prawn fleet worked away.

Non-fishing saw a range of vessels call in for various reasons. The pelagic super-trawlers Altaire, Quantus and Lunar Bow came in for crew changes. The lighthouse service vessel Briggs Cameron came in for fuel, fish farm support vessels Tie Venture and Ronja Skye were in for layovers and the first cruise ship of the year Marco Polo had a very successful day visit. A regular visitor to Ullapool in recent years, the Marco Polo (pictured) was on route from Kirkwall to Tobermory as part of a round Britain trip. Thick mist greeted the ship first thing but thankfully the sun broke through late morning allowing the 760 passengers to enjoy shopping and walking round the village in the glorious spring sunshine.

Ferry Works are coming on well. The replacement Linkspan preparatory works are largely complete, the temporary access bridge removed and the beach is starting to take shape. The four week vehicle closure is on schedule for 20th April to allow the old linkspan to be removed and the new one floated in.  The Passenger Terminal is now complete with Calmac taking up occupation this Saturday 11th April. The temporary terminal will be removed from the ferry car park in early May bringing to an end a year of disruption for passengers, locals and staff. Many thanks for your patience and understanding; hopefully the new building will be worth the hardships. The Easter Sunday service was the first event to be held in this new public space with 150 worshippers turning out on a glorious morning – well done all.

Congratulations to local lad Will Copestake on winning the National Adventure, Adventurer of the Year Award for a solo kayak around Scotland followed by cycling home via the 282 summits over 3000ft – what an amazing achievement.