17-31 December Whitefish totalled 3600 boxes from 1 Scottish and 10 Anglo Spanish landings bringing to an end a very busy year with almost 80,000 boxes of whitefish landed. Shellfish arrivals were few and far between with the two offshore crabbers and the new local twin rig prawn trawler Headway making 2 landings apiece. Non fishing was limited to a single arrival when the fish farm tank ship Gerda Saele came in for a layover.
1st – 12th January Whitefish totalled 2400 boxes from 8 Anglo Spanish liner landings. The line fleet fished throughout the festive period despite the terrible weather and all landed very good shots of quality hake and ling. The Scottish twin rigger Adventurer tied up in Ullapool over Christmas week and went back to work on the 27th Dec. As far as I understand the boat landed a good shot into Scrabster for the first market of the year. Shellfish arrivals were limited to the offshore crabber Our Hazel who worked through the gales and arrived during the peak of the storm early on Friday 9th with winds gusting to 85mph.
Ferry Works The Linkspan contractors worked until 22 December to get the piling programme back on track before taking a well earned fortnight off. Despite continued weather interruptions the project is on target to be completed on time for the 22 February closure. However due to ongoing issues with Stornoway ferry infrastructure works, Calmac and Transport Scotland have requested that the Ullapool linkspan closure is now delayed until 20 April. This is because the new vessel Loch Seaforth is the only available ship capable of undertaking the passenger only service which means that Stornoway work must be completed before Ullapool closes to traffic. All other works will continue as previously planned with a further 14 piles to be driven and both supporting concrete structures formed as weather permits. On completion the temporary access platform on the beach will be removed and the shingle reinstated as before. Other works such as power provision, substation installation and fuel pipeline diversions will be completed prior to the Easter weekend. Ullapool will then close to vehicular traffic from 20 April for a period of not more than 5 weeks to allow the installation, testing and commissioning of the new Linkspan. During the closure a 2-lane concrete entrance roadway will be formed as the final part of the jigsaw. Whilst it is unfortunate that the works have had to be delayed, the advantage to all is a reduced closure period and an improved method of demolition of the existing concrete structures. The ongoing works continue to bring traffic and noise disruption to the local community; we are working as hard and quickly as possible to ensure the whole process is completed speedily. Once again we would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.