Harbour News 25 March – 26 April 2021

79 arrivals for the period

Ullapool Harbour Trust continues to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic; supporting vital transport links to the Western Isles and handling routine fishing and commercial traffic. Harbour services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the harbour can be contacted by phone, email and VHF. Strict social distancing and hygiene measures are in place with restricted access to the harbour building which remains locked at all times.

Ferry news: The regular ferry Loch Seaforth suffered a main engine failure earlier in the month and is currently in Greenock undergoing repair. Since taking up the run in 2014 Loch Seaforth has been an extremely reliable vessel working 24/7 without a hitch. The Isle of Lewis has been pulled in as a replacement passenger vessel and the Isle of Arran is covering twice nightly freight runs. The Loch Seaforth has the capacity to carry 20 articulated trailers but realistically carries on average 12 HGVs a night. With Isle of Lewis and Isle of Arran completing four return crossings daily they are more than capable of meeting the freight requirements of the route.

Whitefish totalled 43,000 boxes from 35 Scottish trawl and five Anglo-Spanish long line landings. The Scottish fleet continues to fish the southern end of the Rockall Bank but with haddock now spawning it is anticipated this fishery will cease for a few months. This year haddock have been pretty scarce on the main bank and trip durations have reflected that. The recently launched stern trawler Endeavour V (pictured) landed a good shot of hake and deepwater species from the shelf edge. Owned by the Lovie family from Whitehills the vessel is managed by Peter Lovie and skippered by his three sons. The Lovie family have fished from Kinlochbervie for three generations in a much smaller vessels. The new build with a draft of 6m faces tidal restrictions so hopefully Ullapool will become their harbour of choice. The Anglo fleet has been largely absent this year with an occasional landing of hake and ling from vessels heading home for a break.

The shellfish sector has been reasonably busy; there were seventeen landings from visiting prawn trawlers, two landings from an offshore crabber which combined with the local fleet’s efforts. 

Non-fishing activities were busy; 90% of the arrivals were associated with aquaculture.  The live fish carriers Migdale and Ocean Aquila called in for 250,000 smolts, treatment vessels Inter Caledonian and Aqua Skye visited for crew changes, Viking Enterprise and Aqua Star were day-running and Viking Saga visited for an inspection. The MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for fuel and the Tanera-based vessels Tanera Queen and Askur called in for equipment and personnel respectively.

Shore Street Project Update

Several teams of consultants continue to work on the pre-application responses.  Wallace Stone Consulting Engineers are finalising updated drawings which include provision for cycling.  Transport Scotland (BEAR) are working on the design of the road itself.  UHT are co-ordinating all parties and preparing funding application paperwork.  Two architectural practices have been appointed; their brief will where feasible, reflect local input raised following the recent community presentations.  Once we have an updated set of drawings, they’ll be uploaded onto the harbour’s website.