Harbour News 4 November-15 December 2015

68 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 8700 boxes from 6 Scottish trawlers and 19 Anglo Spanish liner/netters. The Scottish twin rig trawlers Adventurer, Genesis and Endeavour all landed good shots of monk and groundfish from the shelf edge. Despite the poor weather the boats continue to fish well reporting an abundance of fish on the grounds. The Anglo fleet are starting to fish further north with good hauls of hake and ling coming ashore weekly.

Shellfish landings have been reasonably steady with the offshore crabbers landing weekly and the local prawn fleet doing their best between the storms. The Inverness-registered scallop dredger Georgia Dawn made three landing of good quality clams from local waters.

The non-fishing sector saw the fishfarm vessels Nitrox and Ronja Skye in for layovers and the customs cutter Seeker in for shelter.

2015 Fishing Arrivals Summary

Scottish Whitefish 46 landings Top Scottish Whitefish Adventurer 17 landings
Anglo Spanish 197 landings Top Anglo Spanish Whitefish Ayr Queen 41 landings
Offshore Crabbers 85 landings Top Crabber Our Hazel 47 landings

2015 has been a very busy year for fish and shellfish landings with Scottish and Anglo Spanish whitefish arrivals up by 20% and 74% respectively. The recently published Scottish Officer statistics for 2014 report £19.3 million value of seafood landed in Ullapool. It’s heart-warming to see the industry thriving despite the increasingly draconian legislation.

Tall Ships, Cruise and Leisure Summary

It was another busy leisure season for the harbour with three Tall Ship visits, twelve cruise ships and two hundred yacht nights throughout the summer months. Cruise traffic remains steady with 11,000 passengers and crew on board twelve ships in 2015. There are similar projections for 2016 with a further twelve booked in (five maiden visits). Ullapool Harbour has sponsored over two hundred and fifty UHS youths on Tall Ship voyages since 2011 with funds largely raised through calendar sales. The hugely successful annual Wylde Swan voyages to St Kilda and beyond will be repeated in 2016 along with a series of offers from Tecla. See our website for details as many trips are already filling up. Yacht numbers were down on 2014 due in no small part to the dismal summer weather.

Infrastructure Projects

2015 saw the completion of £19.7M of investments in ferry infrastructure for the new ship Loch Seaforth. In October, the Caisson project received a prestigious Saltire Commendation for Engineering Excellence. Last week, the refurbished Terminal building scooped the SURF large scale infrastructure award for community enhancement. We’re absolutely delighted for the recognition and we pass on our sincere thanks to all parties who provided support to us throughout the projects and who met judging panels and gave us such glowing recommendations!
The ferry terminal has proved to be a great venue and we’ve already hosted some fantastic music events including the launch of the Feis Rois Voyage of Hector CD and a 40-piece fiddle orchestra from Melbourne. We’re looking forward to many more happy evenings of entertainment in 2016. Ullapool Museum has already installed an exhibition of work showcasing their Community At Sea exhibition and in the New Year, will transfer the highly popular Klondyker panels where they’ll hang in the first floor of the building. We are speaking with various other groups about exhibition space and use for a variety of events. The building’s primary purpose is as a Ferry Terminal, however, where possible we will try to accommodate requests for reasonable use! It’s open from 9:00am to 6:00pm and anyone is welcome to come down and have a look around or simply enjoy the views over Loch Broom.

Other works continue apace. A solar PV array has been installed on the roof of the Mill Street Workshop to manage utility costs. Large areas of the pier have been resurfaced and plans are taking shape for the installation of new fuel storage tanks and pipe-work for servicing the fleet.

2015 has been a hectic year with unprecedented levels of investment and increased vessel arrivals; we even have a couple of national awards to show for it! The Harbour will continue to invest to improve our offer in 2016 and beyond.

The Trustees and staff would like to express how grateful we are for the support you continue to give to our causes throughout the year. Whether it’s buying the Harbour Calendar, Feis Rois CD, selling merchandise on our behalf, or attending a pier event, we truly appreciate every purchase and good wish. (It’s still not too late to purchase a calendar or CD; from the office or go online and we’ll post one to you. Visit www.ullapool-harbour.co.uk).

Jesus Naveiras, engineer on the Ayr Queen for the past 24 years is making his last voyage home today. Jesus has been landing into Ullapool for the past 9 years and has decided the time is right to retire from life at sea. Here he is accepting a bottle of Ullapool Harbour whisky from harbour assistant Martin Cunningham. We wish him a long and happy retirement.

Finally, on behalf of Ullapool Harbour Trustees and staff I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and our very best wishes for the New Year.