Harbour News 18 April – 2 May

31 Arrivals for the Period


Whitefish has been extremely busy with 17,250 boxes landed for the period from 11 Scottish trawlers and 8 Anglo Spanish long liners and netters.  The seasonal Rockall haddock fishery has been extremely productive this year, with boats filling up in as little as 36 hours fishing. All good things must come to an end and now that the haddock have spawned they are proving much more elusive to catch. Scottish effort has started to tail off at Rockall with boats returning east for paint jobs and refits. The Rockall haddock fishery yielded over 40,000 boxes from 30 Scottish trawler landings in 9 weeks, the vessels purchased 1.5 million litres of fuel, 400 tonnes of ice and put ashore over £3 million in fish. The Banff registered trawler Endeavour IV completed the Marine Scotland annual monkfish survey of the Rockall Bank, catching record numbers of monks across all grounds.  Hopefully Scottish fishing effort will return to Rockall in midsummer when in recent years there has been a short but productive squid fishery. The Anglo Spanish fleet has also been busy with a number of long liners and netters landing boat loads of quality hake, ling and monkfish for export to Spain. Good to see increased catches and excellent market prices for whitefish, additionally positive reports from the most recent scientific surveys would suggest stocks are improving in the west.

Shellfish has been very quiet with catches of all species very poor; the offshore crabbers report very low returns and the prawn fleet likewise.

Non-fishing was largely aquaculture based with the tank ship Norholm collecting 480,000 of live salmon smolts for transfer to fishfarm cages, and the tug Sally Ann calling in for a layover.   The Marine Scotland research vessel Alba na Mara spent 4 days in port demobbing from a scallops survey prior to departing on a hydrographic trip.

Tall Ships saw the very welcome return of the Dutch gaff ketch Tecla to undertake a series of summer adventure voyages in Scotland, Iceland and Greenland. Tecla is preparing to sail today (2nd May) on a 8 day trip to St Kilda with a full complement of 12 eager passengers on board. With a very good forecast and a fresh breeze they will have a wonderful time.

Wylde Swan is currently involved in a series of Tallship races and won the first leg of the event from London to Sines in Portugal. Tony van den Bos (pictured) who sailed as mate on WS last summer was skippering the vessel for the first time in a competitive race, didn’t he do well? Today the ship is sailing from Sines to Las Palmas for the start of the Trans-Atlantic leg to Boston, what a great life. Wylde Swan has committed to returning to Ullapool in August of 2018 for another summer of fun sailing the highlands and islands of Scotland. For information on either of these ships please check out their individual websites. Yet another Dutch sailing vessel will call in to Ullapool this month, the elegant three-masted barquentine Atlantis will call in on Friday 12th May for the weekend before heading south to Oban.

The first cruise visit of the season is due on Sunday 14th May, with the maiden call of the Fred Olsen ship Boudicca with a maximum of 900 passengers and 300 crew onboard. The ship will make 2 further calls to Ullapool this season.