70 arrivals for the period
Whitefish totalled 28,200 boxes from sixteen Scottish trawl, twenty five Anglo longline and one Anglo freezer netter. A number of the Scottish fleet have returned to Rockall and are reporting the appearance of good quality haddocks on the bank once again. Fish are proving elusive at times but those that persevere are rewarded for their efforts. The remaining trawlers continue to work along the shelf edge targeting a healthy mixed fishery of saithe, ling, monkfish and haddocks. Fish prices remain high but with fuel costing almost a pound a litre, some of the fleet may be forced to tie up as the profit margins are extremely small. The Anglo line fleet has enjoyed much better returns due to the relative abundance of hake and ling off the Butt of Lewis. The freezer netter also had a very good landing of processed monkfish from deepwater grounds.
Shellfish has been fairly quiet although there are signs of improving catches in the prawn trawl sector; there were ten landings from visiting vessels. The resident fleet are also reporting positive signs.
Non-fishing activity was steady and included twelve aquaculture arrivals day-running and crew-changing, two scheduled cruise calls, the MCA tug Ievoli Black crew- changing and navy dive support vessel Moorfowl day-running.
In addition, the Shetland tall ship Swan returned from a very successful 7- day trip to St Kilda and followed up with two great taster days for twenty third year youngsters from Ullapool High School. The local youngsters had perfect weather for sailing up and down Lochbroom and over to Isle Martin. The Swan departed Ullapool for Stornoway last weekend to collect another St Kilda bound group of guests but unfortunately the weather was not so kind. On Monday Swan dropped her guests (including two Ullapool trainees) in Stornoway before heading home to Lerwick for a well-earned rest. The tester and trainee voyages are fully sponsored by Ullapool Harbour Trust accessing funds collected by the sale of harbour calendars. With the Tall Ship Races returning to Lerwick in 2023, plans are taking shape for sending a number of Ullapool High School pupils on trainee adventurers next year.
Shore Street Project Update
Not the best of news to report this week as we still await a ruling from HMRC on the implications of VAT for the Transport Scotland elements of the project. This lengthy delay means the construction contract has yet to be signed and with that in mind it seems inevitable that the start date will be delayed. Once again apologies for such negative news; these issues are outside UHT’s control but very much affect all aspects of the project. On a more positive note, the pontoon construction continues apace. Two breakwaters have been completed and the third will be available for inspection next week.