Harbour News 27 April – 31 May 2021

63 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 has finally returned to Stornoway and at time of writing, is scheduled to pick up the freight run this evening (31 May) after a lengthy period of essential engine repairs. All being well the relief vessels Isle of Lewis and Hebridean Isles will sail south to resume their designated routes on the 1 June. These have been extremely difficult times for island communities; years of underinvestment in the lifeline ferry fleet combined with the Ferguson Shipyard collapse have come home to roost and have badly impacted quality of life for many inhabitants.  Given the resources at their disposal, Calmac Ferries Ltd has done a great job and frontline staff in particular have shouldered the burden extremely well. 

Whitefish totalled 26,600 boxes from twenty-four Scottish trawl, seventeen Anglo long line and four Anglo freezer netters. Due to reduced fishing opportunities and quota reductions in the North Sea more and more Scottish vessels are working west along the shelf edge or out at Rockall. Fishing has been pretty mixed; vessels are making enough to get by but not much more. Conversely the Anglo fleet is fishing well landing good weekly shots of hake and ling. In the main fish prices have risen due to lack of supply but luxury species such as monkfish have seen their value drop due to export issues and subsequent lack of demand.

Activity in the shellfish sector has been very quiet which is to be expected at this time of year and many vessels are undertaking maintenance and painting.  The period saw just four prawn trawl and two offshore crab landings.

Non-fishing was once again dominated by the fishfarm sector.  Landing crafts BK Marjorie and Ossian were day-running, tank ships Inter Caledonian, Ronjafisk and Aqua Skye called in for their monthly crew changes and Northern Viking tied up. The civilian navy fast boats Smit Pennaly and Smit Yare were day-running as part of the annual war games, the coastguard tug Ievoli Black called in for a crew change and the magnificent Dutch tall ship Oosterschelde (pictured) returned for a visit.

Shore Street Project Update

Following on from the latest public ZOOM event on 20th May, the deadline for receipt of responses has passed and the team of architects and consultants are currently collating all feedback received. These responses will be used to shape the final design and will be drawn up as part of preparations for the licensing applications.  The resultant work will be displayed on the harbour’s website and in these pages.