Harbour News 12–28 August 2023

36 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 3,700 boxes from two Scottish trawl and a single Anglo longline landing. A couple of Scottish boats have returned to Rockall looking to use up the remainder of their monkfish and haddock quotas before the winter.  Fishing has been patchy with loads of small haddock evident but not much by way of quality fish.  On the other hand, monkfish catches have been good. Anglo effort for hake and ling is very limited and vessels are either at home for the summer or working north and landing elsewhere.

The shellfish sector saw thirteen prawn landings from visiting trawlers which combined with the efforts of the resident fleet. Prawn fishing has been reasonable and the few that are at lobsters report good returns but poor prices.

Non-fishing was the busiest sector with the usual procession of fish farm support vessels for crew changing, bunkering fuel and buying stores. The larger vessels tend to do most of their shopping locally and regularly fill 6-8 trolleys of goods at the local supermarket.  Cruise ships Amadea, Europa and Viking Jupiter all made scheduled visits in reasonable weather and the MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for her monthly crew change.

Shore Street Project Update

The principal contractors cleared the site last week and will return in the coming days to complete some minor details. The new area adjacent to the harbour office, christened Shore Quay by the designers, has proved very popular with tourists and locals. The only issue has been litter, a daily problem attended to by harbour staff. Of the four double bins on Shore St the westmost one is always filled to overflowing.  Meanwhile, just a few meters away, the others are only half full, – inexplicable behaviour. To hopefully remedy this the harbour plans to trial a solar/battery compacting bin, which will squash the oversized takeaway boxes thus reducing the volume and making more space. If the trial proves successful, the harbour will purchase four smart bins for installation next spring.

Pontoon News

The pontoon installation has been a slow and tedious process with the electrical installation contractor in particular dragging their heels.  In addition, the breakwater mooring chains require adjustment and two of the 12m fingers sustained damage from a visiting trawler. Given that we have yet to understand the performance of the breakwater in stormy weather and we are now in September, pontoons berths will not be allocated this year. The harbour will correspond directly with the 90+ applicants in the coming weeks sharing information on terms and conditions, pricing structure and an application form for the various berths. Clearly demand very much outstrips supply but over the winter months the harbour will allocate berths based on submitted information and if necessary names will be drawn from a hat.

We are delighted to welcome Malcolm Macleod to his new role as Deputy Harbourmaster.  Malcolm brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge and has fitted effortlessly into the harbour scene.  We wish him every success in his career with the harbour.