Harbour News 15 April-6 May 2020

37 arrivals for the period
Ullapool Harbour Trust continues to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic; we are supporting vital transport links to the Western Isles together with handling routine fishing and commercial traffic. Harbour services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we can be contacted by phone, email and VHF.  We are observing strict social distancing and hygiene measures.  
The ferry is presently making two daily runs for essential lifeline and freight services and this arrangement is in place until 15th July.  The overnight service has been temporarily suspended and the operator Calmac has restricted ferry terminal opening times in line with arrivals.  
Whitefish landings totalled 29,400 boxes from thirty-two Scottish trawl landings.  The Rockall haddock fishery is still productive although the bulk of the fish have spawned and spread out over the grounds.  Boats continue to land good shots which are consigned direct to processors in Peterhead.  In order to match supply with demand, the fleet has introduced a voluntary eight day monthly tie-up scheme to manage supply and maintain a keen market demand.  Despite Covid-19 the Scottish whitefish sector continues to supply the nation with fresh fish daily.  Demand is keen and prices are steady – this is no more than the sector deserves.  This week saw the arrival of the very successful Orkney whitefish skipper Iain Harcus in his brand new trawler Aalskere K373 to make their first landing.  Fitted out in Denmark, the 35m stern trawler fished very well on her maiden trip; both skipper and crew relished the quiet comfort of the new build.  Iain enjoys fishing west so all being well, the Aalskere will be a regular visitor.  The team at Ullapool Harbour extends their very best wishes to all.
Yet again, the shellfish sector has been very quiet.  Prawn trawlers are mostly tied up and creelers are working to limited markets.  There were two landings from an Oban-based scallop dredger.
Non-fishing activity was limited to two arrivals from the Norwegian salmon farm treatment vessel Inter Caledonia which called in for fuel and a crew change respectively. 
The news that Big Donald Caley passed away last month was received with great sadness at the harbour.  Well known and highly respected by fishermen from Shetland to Cornwall, Donald worked at the pier as the Caley Fisheries salesman for thirty years.  A proud Harris man, Donald Macdonald was born in Stockinish where his lifelong passion for inshore fishing – particularly herring – was developed.  Following sixteen years in the merchant navy, Donald returned home to fish herring and lobsters from Stockinish.  He then gained an appointment with the Herring Industry Board, during which time he formed a widespread bond with skippers.  In 1976, Donald moved to Ullapool where his forthright manner and professional knowledge were appreciated by demersal and pelagic fishermen alike.  Donald is survived by his wife Racheal and their four sons.  Our thoughts are with them at this very sad time.