Harbour News 26 October-22 November 2022

30 arrivals for the period
Whitefish totalled 5,500 boxes from six Scottish trawl and one Anglo freezer netter landing. Evidence of some common sense has finally prevailed as authorities recognise the punitive nature of the ban imposed on Scottish trawlers ability to fish west. Vessels may now apply for a single area license which is still a bit of a hassle but does open up fishing and quota opportunities denied to them for the past number of months. Boats have been fishing along the shelf edge for monks and megrims and others have been making their way as far afield as Faroe. The Anglo freezer vessel Brisan made a very good landing of processed fish from deep water; monkfish the catch’s main component.
Shellfish activity was quiet. Seven landings from visiting prawn trawlers combined with the efforts of the resident fleet.

Non-fishing was once again the busiest sector and aquaculture vessels were the order of the day. The larger tank ship treatment vessels Aqua Skye, Ronjafisk, Ronja Kvaloy, Inter Caledonia, Bakkanes and Ronja Star all called in for monthly crew changes, fuel and stores. Ronja Kvaloy returned to Norway after a year working in Scottish waters and has been replaced by the new ship Ronja Star. The aquaculture support vessels Ocean Supporter, Aqua Star, Aqua Reflex (x3) and Viking Saga called in for layovers, fuel and equipment. The MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for a 24-hour crew change and the Northern Lighthouse Board service support vessel Pharos called in for fuel.

Ferry news saw the return of Loch Seaforth after a successful three-week re-fit in Liverpool. The vessels Isle of Lewis, Hebridean Isles and Isle of Arran covered the route and despite some wild weather maintained a very good service.

Shore Street Project Update The construction project progresses apace. The final pile was driven last week and the piling rig and crawler crane were stripped down and removed from site. Our thoughts are with Chris the piling supervisor who unfortunately fell seriously ill during his time here and as a result has retired and returned home to be with his family. Although noisy, the piling was completed with relative ease and it’s a real milestone to have this element completed so early. For the next few weeks the contractors will concentrate on forming Shore Quay, the new rock armour revetment, the sea wall and some tidally restricted works installing the remaining tie-rods. The harbours website is continually updated with photos, progress reports and video. Finances for the project are particularly challenging in these uncertain times and virtually all materials are subject to significant cost increases. The harbour is in discussion with various funders to see if further monies can be approved and in addition have discussed with RBS the potential for an overdraft facility as a last ditch contingency.

The harbour was deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Donald Ross last week. For many years Donald was a constant at the harbour providing first class maintenance support with his company DS Ross. Donald was a kind and extremely thoughtful person who would always go out of his way to be helpful and supportive. Our thoughts are with Kathy and his family at this terribly sad time.