Harbour News 5–27 March 2018

46 arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 14,500 boxes from eleven Scottish trawlers, nine Anglo-Spanish long liners and one Anglo-Spanish netter. The seasonal Rockall haddock fishery is now in full swing with a number of trawlers fishing both on the bank and in deeper water. Boats are reporting reasonably steady fishing of quality haddocks with a bycatch of large saithe and monkfish. The Anglo line fleet has started to fish further south and land good hauls of fresh hake and ling weekly. The freezer netter tends to work in deeper water processing the catch on-board and lands every couple of months.

Shellfish was also quite busy; fourteen prawn trawl landings combined with the efforts of the local inshore fleet. The offshore crabber Our Hazel has been struggling with unusually low water temperatures reducing catches to a minimum.

Non-fishing was very quiet with only four fish-farm support vessels calling in for layovers.

Harbour Projects

The Wee Jetty is progressing very well; the contractor has been making the most of the low tides by working shifts round the clock. The widening sections at the top of the jetty are worked on during slack tides and the outer end and extension is the focus when tides are low. The local quarry is supplying multiple loads of gravel, rock and cement and at times the lorries are backed up onto the main road which is unavoidable due to the site’s narrow access. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

The Changing Place and Community Workshop are also taking shape.  Contractors are presently stripping out the building and levelling off the floor before strapping out the new partitions. Plumbers and electricians are booked to start their first fix next week and install the underfloor heating system.  The building will be heated by an air source heat pump which will keep the area well supplied with heat and hot water while reducing the annual running costs.

The former Caley Oils building on West Shore Street was surveyed in January 2018 and a structural report prepared for the harbour’s new insurers. The building was formerly owned by Caley Oils and more recently by Northern Oils who went into liquidation in August 2015, leaving behind a trail of neglected and potentially polluting infrastructure. Ullapool Harbour purchased the fixed assets from the liquidator and spent £34,200 on environmental clean-up and removal of contaminated fuel, pipework and sterilisation of underground tanks. A number of local businesses have expressed an interest in leasing the property for various business ventures and up to this point no decision has been taken on the future of the property. The recently completed condition survey report and the disappointing conclusions drawn by the surveyor have given UHT cause for concern. The unlisted building has suffered from ageing and a lack of maintenance and exhibits a number of serious problems including; defective bulging walls, substantial water penetration within the walls, crumbling wall heads, porous stonework and a badly corroded and incomplete roof structure. The report concludes that the building has reached the end of its effective life and should be demolished. The report has been shared with Highland Council Planning who have advised that demolition would require Conservation Area Consent which wouldn’t normally be granted without a planning application (submitted in tandem with the Conservation Area Consent application) for a replacement development that will preserve or enhance the Conservation Area.  Ullapool Harbour has arranged to meet with Highland Council on site to scrutinise the structural report and consider the options.