Harbour News 29 November–22 December 2023

67 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 10,500 boxes from eight Scottish trawlers, five Anglo long-liners and a single Anglo freezer netter. Scottish efforts concentrated on the shelf edge as boats used up the last of their quotas towards the year end. The Banff-registered Venture IV landed a mixed shot of ground-fish with a decent showing of squid from grounds west of the Butt of Lewis.  As a high value non-quota species, squid is a very welcome addition at this time of year.  The Anglo boats have mainly fished north this winter; a few landed here as the boats make their way home for the holidays.

The shellfish sector was once again busy.  There were thirty landings from visiting prawn trawlers in addition to the efforts of the resident fleet. The grounded prawn trawler Sustain has had a rough time in the recent stormy weather and the vessel is now well beyond any repair or float- off. The insurers have engaged a diving contractor to work up a plan for cutting up the hulk into small sections and weather permitting, removing completely in early January.

Once again non-fishing activity was dominated by the aquaculture fleet.  Twenty-one tank ships and support vessels called in for fuel, crew, equipment and layovers.  In addition the MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for fuel, the survey vessel Ondine Jule for equipment, and the bulk coaster Fast Sus (pictured) discharged a cargo of 2,500 tonnes of gritting salt for the Highland Council.  

2023 Summary

Anglo-Spanish              97 Landings     Most Frequent Vessel      Lord Miles       9 Landings

Scottish Whitefish       149 Landings    Most Frequent Vessel     Adventurer     25 Landings

Aquaculture                  254 Arrivals      Most Frequent Visitor    Ronja Star      27 Calls

Cruise Ships                   30 Arrivals      Biggest Ship                      Riviera             1228 Passengers


Scottish whitefish landings increased by 13% with a number of vessels spending more time west than in recent years.  On the other hand, Anglo efforts delivered a negligible reduction. Aquaculture has been the growth sector; all manner of vessels now use Ullapool as their base when working in UK waters which is very welcome additional business. Cruise business was in line with 2022; thirty vessels visited and a further twelve cancelled for various reasons –  not least weather. Next year there are forty-five ships in the diary which, all being well, will be the biggest year on record for Ullapool with an anticipated 1.5M tonnes of shipping bringing around 46,000 passengers and crew to visit.  This year was also busy for visiting leisure boats and yachts totalling around 400 nights’ mooring rentals. In 2024 the harbour will also have a selection of visitor pontoons on offer which will hopefully increase leisure sector footfall.


The Inner Harbour and Promenade development was front and centre for Ullapool Harbour Trust and the community in 2023. Completed and opened in September, it is hoped that the new look seafront will be enjoyed by locals and visitors for many years to come. Thanks again for enduring the build process which at times was challenging for all but in the main went smoothly.


Community Benefit

The Ullapool Harbour Constitution 2011 allows for the provision of 2% gross profit from the previous year to be distributed to local groups, individuals, and initiatives by way of grant funding. This year £15,150 has been donated to the following applicants; Junior Shinty,  Pipe Band, Primary School, High School, An Talla Solais, Sailing Club, Baile Baile, Ullapool Garden of Reflection, the Senior Citizens’ Christmas Dinner, Speakeasy and Ulluminate. It’s great to see such a mix of events and initiatives taking place community-wide. In July eight local youngsters were lucky enough to participate in the Tall Ship Races voyage from Fredrikstad to Lerwick on-board the Norwegian square rigger Sorlandet (pictured); this takes the total of sponsored trainees since 2011 to around 250 placements. The Community Workshop in the ferry car park supports four groups who gather to learn new skills, create or upcycle furniture or maybe just have a cup of tea and catch-up with old friends. The Dolphin Arts centre at Mill Street continues to provide weekly arts and crafts workshops for those suffering from dementia, expertly guided by Anne Marie Quinn and her dedicated team. Many thanks and well done to you all.


The community has sadly lost a number of good people over the year; our thoughts are with the families and friends of the dear departed.

On behalf of Ullapool Harbour Trustees and staff I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers, tenants and stakeholders a very Merry Christmas, and our very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2024.