Harbour News 22 February–22 March 2022

57 arrivals for the period
Whitefish totalled 14,000 boxes from sixteen Scottish trawl and two Anglo longline vessels. The Scottish lads have had good pickings along the shelf edge in recent weeks but given the better weather a number of boats have ventured further west to Rockall to try their luck. The first few landings have been fairly promising although there seems to be a lack of haddock and in places an abundance of cod for which there is almost no quota. Hopefully the haddock numbers will improve for the much anticipated spring fishery which has become the mainstay of the harbour’s whitefish income in recent years. The Anglo fleet continues to fish along the shelf edge for hake and ling with the majority of vessels landing into Scrabster.

Shellfish activity was very busy. A migrant fleet of up to twenty prawn trawlers worked North Minch grounds calling in twice weekly to land and take fuel and ice before returning to sea. The local fleet likewise has enjoyed better pickings of prawns which is to be expected at this time of the year.

The non-fishing sector was fairly busy with nine out of the twelve arrivals belonging to the aqua culture industry. The Inverlussa Marine Services flagship Camilla Eslea called in for a crew change. The vessel is a Thermolicer and has the ability to pump aboard live salmon to swim through heated seawater which removes all sea lice before returning the fish to the sea cages. The more traditional tank treatment vessels Ronjafisk, Aqua Skye and Bakkanes called in for fuel and crew changes and the workboats Kiera Fiona, Ocean Aquila, Ossian and Challenger of Leith called in for fuel and layovers. The MCA-chartered emergency tug Ievoli Black called in for a crew change and fuel, and the bulk timber vessel Scot Navigator made a pit stop for fuel on his way to Bristol.

Cruise Ship visits will commence on Thursday 31 March with the arrival of the Hebridean Princess for an overnight call followed by the luxury liner Viking Venus for a half day call on Saturday 2nd April. At the moment there are thirty visits in the diary but given the state of flux in the industry it’s hard to predict if all the cruise lines will survive the financial impact of the pandemic.

Shore Street Project Update
Now that the project has been approved by the various agencies the project team are working on final design drawings and looking at construction duration and timing. The intention is to complete the works over the autumn and winter of 2022 with a scheduled target of early spring 2023 for completion. Funding the project has been boosted by firm and generous commitments from Transport Scotland, Highland and Islands Enterprise and the Coastal Communities Fund. The current objective is to pull everything together and formulate a cohesive work plan for sharing on the harbour’s website, noticeboards and the Ullapool News in the coming weeks.
Many thanks from the harbour to the various boat owners who assisted in clearing the foreshore of small leisure vessels in readiness for the tourist season and the construction project.