Harbour News 3 – 17 December 2019

12 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 4,000 boxes from five Scottish trawl and two Anglo Spanish long-line landings. The Inverness registered Adventurer II working west of Lewis made three landings of mainly monkfish, cod and squid. The stormy weather contributed to the Banff registered vessels Venture III and Endeavour IV owned by brothers Mark and Peter Lovie diverting from Kinlochbervie to Ullapool.  Venture III landed 1200 boxes of monkfish, cod, ling and squid from west of St Kilda and Endeavour IV landed 200 boxes of mixed fish from inshore grounds. Peter Lovie and his three sons have just taken delivery of their new hull Endeavour V which was built in Poland and towed to Macduff earlier this month (pictured). The hull will be fitted out by Macduff Shipyards who have a long and very successful relationship with the Lovie family. At 34m the new build will work mainly west of Scotland deepwater grounds for monkfish and will hopefully be a regular to Ullapool later in 2020 when she starts fishing. A number of new trawlers are being built for Scottish owners at the moment, here’s hoping there are fishing opportunities and markets to support such a massive level of investment.

Shellfish was extremely quiet with only a single prawn trawl arrival plus the efforts of the resident fleet.

Non-fishing was also fairly quiet, with aqua culture vessel Aqua Senior in for weather, Garda Saele day running to Ardmair and the coastguard tug Ievoli Black in for fuel and a crew change.

2019 Fishing Arrivals summary

Scottish Whitefish       160 landings   Top Scottish Whitefish                Adventurer    32 landings

Anglo Spanish              123 landings   Top Anglo Spanish Whitefish      La Paloma      8 landings


2019 was an exceptional year for Scottish whitefish with vessels reaping the benefits of a 100% increase in the Rockall haddock quota. Vessels started fishing for haddocks in February and continued right up to November when the weather finally beat them. The Anglo fleet effort was on a par with previous years, but with hake scarce on the grounds, overall landings were down for this sector. A total of 228,800 boxes or 11,440 tonnes of whitefish was landed for the year, a 25% increase on 2018 and the best year on record since 2003 for the port. Conversely the shellfish sector was much quieter. The sale of the two offshore crabbers and the closure of the Chinese crab export market impacted heavily on landings. The annual, and most probably last EU managed bun fight for individual species fishing quotas starts this week in Brussels. Scientific advice recommends significant cuts to a number of species which will impact all sectors. Add to that the uncertainty over access to markets and 2020 could be a very tough year for the industry.

Harbour Projects focused on a new chilled seafood store, wet room and covered bait area to replace the old prawn store and the main fishing pier was resurfaced. 

Tall Ships, Cruise and Leisure Summary

This was another busy year at the harbour with six Tall Ships, thirty one cruise ships and two hundred and thirty yacht nights over the summer. The Dutch Tall Ships Safier and Thalassa called in on their way south to Oban. The Tecla arrived in spring for a couple of St Kilda return trips before heading off for a year long voyage around the Americas via the Northwest Passage and Wylde Swan completed another successful season of Scottish isles adventures. English based schooner Blue Clipper called in on her way to Iceland and the newly refurbished Williams II (pictured) made a scheduled call on her maiden voyage around the UK. In 2020 Tecla will return on the 16 June from her world voyage and Wylde Swan is in the diary for a three week visit in late August/September. The cruise season started on the 8th of April with the unexpected arrival of Marco Polo diverted from Stornoway and finished thirty ships and 15,500 visitors later with the Hebridean Princess on the 19th September. The harbour would like to thank the museum volunteers who ably assisted our meet and greet team throughout the season.

Sponsorship and donations continued with 2% of the gross profit distributed to various local initiatives including, Ullapool Golf Club, Lochbroom Community Council, Littoral Art, New Broom, Sea Savers, Welcome Ullapool, Ullapool High School, School Minibuses, Book Festival, Kinder Croft, British Legion, Lochbroom House, and the Primary School. Harbour calendar sales and various in year donations, raised sufficient funds to send 7 UHS students on an international exchange voyage around Denmark on Wylde Swan, and scrap metal collections raised £1900 for Ullapool Museum.

From a business viewpoint, 2019 has been another very good year for the harbour, and with the continued support of the community, Ullapool Harbour Trust can only go from strength to strength. 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 2020.