Harbour News 21 Jan – 10 Feb

19 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 7,100 boxes from five Scottish trawl, three Anglo-Spanish long line and two freezer netter landings. The Scottish boats which have been working along the shelf edge for squid and monkfish have experienced mixed results mainly due to the stormy weather. The Kirkwall-registered Gemma Jane (formerly Aalskere) made her final landing in Ullapool with the brand new Aalskere (pictured) due to start work in the coming weeks. The new (much larger) vessel plans to work west at Rockall for at least six months of the year and land into Ullapool every ten days or so. The Anglo fleet likewise has been toughing it out with the long-liners landing hake and ling and the freezer netters mainly monkfish all caught along the shelf edge in deeper water. Because North Sea quotas for key species have been cut, an increased Scottish effort west is expected for 2020 with a number of vessels planning to use the port for several months.

The shellfish sector was again quiet; there were four landings from visiting prawn trawlers, a single landing of scallops from the Oban-registered Star of Jura together with the efforts of the local fleet.

The non-fishing sector was restricted to two fish farm support vessels who called in for equipment and a layover.

Harbour Works: The existing ferry pier piles (60 in total) have been in place supporting the concrete deck for fifty years which means that they’re theoretically at the end of their design life. The piles are generally in very good condition but in order to extend their life by a further twenty years, the top 3.5m of each steel tube requires to be treated and protected from the elements. Each pile will be water-jetted, cleaned of marine growth, wrapped in preservative denzo tape and sealed with tailor-made plastic covers. The project was tendered and awarded to Shearwater Marine; work is due to commence in mid-March for a twelve-week period.  There will be no impact on ferry arrivals. The contract will be paid from harbour reserves together with a grant from Transport Scotland Ferries.