Harbour News 19 February – 4 March 2019

36 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 8,800 boxes from nine Scottish trawl and one Anglo-Spanish long-line landing. The Scottish trawlers are mainly fishing along the shelf edge from St Kilda to north of the Butt of Lewis for monkfish and deepwater species. These boats tend to fish at depths ranging from 200-800 metres catching monkfish, megrim and ling at the shallower depths and grenadier, black scabbard and redfish when they go deeper. The Peterhead trawler Harvest Hope has landed two full boat-loads of haddocks from Rockall; as the weather improves, others will venture west to try their luck. Harvest Hope sells all their haddocks to Lunar in Peterhead where the fish are filleted, vacuum-packed and sold on to Marks & Spencer. The Anglo fleet is still working and landing north with little sign of them moving closer; the Meaban landed a shot of hake and ling on her way home to Spain.

Shellfish results have been mixed; the prawn creel and trawl boats are reporting very good returns for their efforts and conversely crab catches are at an all-time low. The new owners of the offshore crabber Our Hazel which has landed into Ullapool weekly for decades, have decided to relocate to Hartlepool and both vessel and creels departed last week. This brings to an end the harbour’s association with crab creel vessels for the time being; hopefully others will come west and try their luck on the large expanses of vacated fishing grounds.

The non-fishing sector was restricted to the Campbeltown lifeboat which headed home after a refit on the east coast and the fish farm tank ship Viking Junior visited for a layover.

Wee Pier improvements and repairs were completed last week and the damaged roadside fencing was replaced this week. Many thanks to all for your patience during the works and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Ullapool Harbour Trustees and staff would like to wish Donnie Taggart a long and happy retirement; Donnie has served ferry passenger needs for just over forty years, latterly serving as port manager for Calmac Ferries Ltd.  Donnie’s input throughout the ferry infrastructure developments of the past few years was extremely valuable and there’s no doubt he’ll be much missed by all at the harbour.