Harbour News 24 January–26 February 2024

78 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 2,400 boxes from three Scottish trawlers and one Anglo freezer netter. The Scottish whitefish boats have been working mainly north and east over the winter but are now starting to head west. The Inverness-registered trawler Adventurer tried his luck at Rockall last trip but had to return to port with damaged gear. The skipper reported reasonable fishing and we expect the usual fleet of boats to target this fishery over the next few months. The freezer netter Mar Blanc landed a decent catch of processed frozen-at-sea monkfish following an eight-week trip to the deepwater edge.

The shellfish sector was busy. There were fifty-one landings from visiting prawn trawlers plus eight landings from a couple of scallop dredgers and this combined with the efforts of the resident fleet.

Non-fishing was once again steady. There were fourteen arrivals from the aquaculture sector for crew changes and fuel. The MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for their monthly visit and the salvage barge Woodstock is day-running. Woodstock owned by diving company Caldive has been tasked with removing the wrecked prawn trawler Sustain that ran aground opposite Rhue lighthouse in November. The barge has installed mooring blocks adjacent to the wreck and when weather permits, she moors up and deploys teams of divers with cutting equipment who dissect the vessel into manageable chunks. These are then lifted aboard and transferred to the pier to be broken up into component parts for recycling. All being well the entire wreck and seabed will be left clean and clear over the next few weeks.

There’s been some exciting publicity announcing the paddle steamer Waverley’s maiden call to Ullapool on 22nd May and a timetable has been released. This is great news; efforts to encourage them here have been ongoing for a number of years. Waverley’s team has confirmed that there’s a good deal of interest in the Ullapool voyage options. We hope the visit will be a great success and lead to multiple visits in subsequent years.