Harbour News 3-18 December 2019

22 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 4,200 from three Scottish trawl and six Anglo Spanish long-line landings. The Inverness registered Adventurer II continues to land very good shots of mixed groundfish weekly with squid and monkfish the main components.  The Anglo fleet are still working north and landing into Shetland with a handful of vessels heading south and trying their luck locally. For the first time in a decade hake has been very scare on the southern shelf edge which is disappointing.

Shellfish was fairly quiet with a handful of landings from larger prawn trawlers, 2 landings from the offshore crabber Our Hazel plus the efforts of our resident fleet of creelers and trawlers.

Non-fishing was a mixed bag with the MCA emergency towing vessel Ievoli Black, the fishery protection vessel Jura and the Marine harvest tank ship Inter Caledonia all in for a crew changes plus the Ocean Viking and Smit Yare day running.

2018 Fishing Arrivals summary

Scottish Whitefish       129 landings   Top Scottish Whitefish                Adventurer  28 landings

Anglo Spanish              126 landings   Top Anglo Spanish Whitefish      La Paloma   12 landings

Offshore crabbers          41 landings   Top Crabber                               Our Hazel     41 landings


2018 was a very good year for whitefish with Scottish arrivals at their highest level since 2003 and up by 53% on the 2017 figures. The Scottish fleet had a very productive spring Rockall haddock fishery combined with a year round strong showing of groundfish on the shelf edge. The Anglo fleet also had very good returns for the efforts with arrivals up by 18%. The shellfish sector was quieter than in previous years, with prawns scarce in the Minch the boats headed east to work in the Moray Firth and the North Sea. The local crab, lobster and prawn boats have all enjoyed a very productive year with good landings and excellent prices. The annual fishing quota talks are underway in Brussels this week and given the uncertainty over the UKs future relationship with Europe who knows what the future holds for the industry.

Harbour Projects mainly focused on community benefit with the Wee Pier, Community Workshop and Changing Place accessible toilet all completed in 2018.The neglected Highland Council owned Wee Pier was purchased by the Harbour Trust and with successful funding applications from EMFF and HIE the structure was lengthened, widened and heightened along with increased hard standing, drainage and a drying out berth. Overall the project cost £680,000 with £153,000 in funding and the remainder from harbour reserves.

The ground floor of the public toilets building, another neglected Highland Council asset was leased and transformed into a Changing Place fully accessible toilet and a Community Workshop. The project cost £130,000 with the Ferries Accessibility Fund contributing £52,000 to the CPT with the remainder coming from harbour reserves. The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of the over 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people. The Ullapool CPT joins a network of 1222 similarly designed and equipped facilities in the UK, for more information please have a look at the website http://www.changing-places.org . The Community Workshop whilst managed by the Men’s Shed team is available to community groups. The ‘Shedders’ have produced bat and bird boxes plus collection boxes for Clachan Church and the Minch Rowing team. The warm and bright space has also been used by An Talla Solais through the Dolphin Project to support Ullapool to become dementia friendly with supported weekly workshops.

Operationally an electric landing derrick was installed at the pontoon and a live shellfish storage building was constructed in the NE corner of the pier, both projects were supported by EMFF who contributed 75% of the £90,000 investment. The shellfish store is mainly used as a holding facility for up to 15 tonnes of crabs, prawns and lobsters before being shipped out to various global markets. The landing derrick is as yet unused due to the weight of legislation and regulation regarding the safe operation of lifting equipment, with any luck this will be resolved in early 2019.

Tall Ships, Cruise and Leisure Summary

This was another busy year at the harbour with four Tall Ships, thirty three cruise ships and two hundred yacht nights over the summer. The Dutch Tall Ships Oosterschelde , Tecla and Thalassa called in on their way to and from summer seasons on the West of Scotland and Iceland/Greenland. Wylde Swan returned for a month’s adventure voyages around the west coast and despite some poor weather new destinations were visited and plenty sailing was done.  The Wylde Swan will return to Ullapool in August 2019 for twenty days, check out their website for voyage details https://www.wyldeswan.com. The Tecla will also return in the spring of 2019 on her way to tackle the Northwest Passage later in the year. Well worth taking a look at the adventures on offer and the amazing photographs from previous arctic voyages on their website  https://www.tecla-sailing.com    The cruise ship season was the busiest ever with 33 arrivals a 75% increase on the previous busiest year in 2003.  A total of 25,700 passengers and crew came ashore to enjoy the delights of the village and surrounding countryside. We’d like to thank the museum volunteers who ably assisted our meet and greet team throughout the season. Yacht arrivals were slightly down on the previous year – yet again, our unpredictable summer weather played its part disrupting voyage plans.

Sponsorship and donations continued with 2% of the gross profit distributed to various local initiatives including the Garden of Reflection, Zipwire, Trishaw, Marine Conference, Book Festival, School trips, Minch row, Village Hall flower show, seniors Christmas dinner. Harbour calendar sales and various in year donations raised sufficient funds to send 14 UHS students on the first Tall Ship race of the year from Sunderland to Esbjerg and scrap metal collections raised £1720 for Ullapool Museum.

From a business viewpoint, 2018 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 2019.