Harbour News 7-19 December 2016

17 Arrivals for the period

Whitefish totalled 1800 boxes from 5 landings, the Scottish trawler Adventurer made two landings of quality monkfish from grounds to the west of St Kilda before tying up for Christmas. Interestingly the Adventurer skipper reported unprecedented hauls of quality monkfish all along the shelf edge from St Kilda to North Rona. Anglo Spanish long liners Landora x2 and Ayr Queen landed ling and hake from the deepwater edge. The Landora intends working on over the festive period whilst the Ayr Queen has sailed home to undertake a few small repairs.

Shellfish landings were fairly quiet with two landings each from the prawn trawlers Fearnot and Sapphire. The scallop dredger Rois Mhairi made a single landing and the scallop dive boat Lady Nicola landed daily. The local fleet continue to work away reporting poor returns for their efforts.

Non-fishing was restricted to a single arrival, the fishfarm support vessel Settler called in for a layover.


2016 Fishing Arrivals Summary

Scottish Whitefish          53 landings

Top Scottish Whitefish  Adventurer (27 landings)

Anglo Spanish                147 landings

Top Anglo Spanish Whitefish      Ayr Queen (34 landings)

Offshore crabbers          94 landings

Top Crabber                  Our Hazel (48 landings)

2016 has been a mixed year for fish and shellfish arrivals with Scottish whitefish up 15%, offshore crabbers up 10% and Anglo Spanish whitefish down 25%. The recently published Trend in Fish Landings at Scottish Ports report £22.5M seafood landed in Ullapool in 2015, a 15.7% increase on the previous year. Ullapool remains sixth in Scotland on tonnage and value and is the only port in Scotland to record significant growth in recent years. The Scottish fishing sector will face new challenges in the years ahead, with self management the focus of Scottish fishing industry leaders. Let’s hope that we don’t return to the boom and bust management of days gone by, when key stocks such as herring and cod were decimated through unregulated fishing.

Tall Ships, Cruise and Leisure Summary

Yet another busy year with 3 Tall Ships, 13 cruise ships and 250 yacht nights over the summer. The Harbour sponsored 19 UHS students on a voyage from Ullapool to Aalborg onboard our very own Wylde Swan, along with 4 former UHS pupils onboard as volunteer crew. The funds for student sponsorship are raised by the sale of the annual Harbour Calendar which has once again been very popular and is almost sold out.  Sadly Wylde Swan will be absent in 2017 as she takes on the rest of the international Tall Ship fleet racing from Portugal to Canada and back to France. There are opportunities for individuals to take part in the 2017 races, please check out the ships website for further information. http://tallshipsrace2017.wyldeswan.eu/

Tecla will return in 2017 and has a series of interesting voyage offers available including a trip to St Kilda, a circumnavigation of Skye and for real adventure why not try a voyage to Iceland and Greenland. http://www.tecla-sailing.com/scotland/

Cruise traffic remains steady with 8,000 passengers and crew on 13 ships in 2016 and something similar in 2017 with a further 15 booked (3 on maiden visits). Yacht numbers were up on 2015 with better weather the driver.

Infrastructure Projects

Due to the fall from grace of Northern Oils, 2016 saw the purchase of the former Caley Oils building and retail unit from the administrators. In light of a structural and asbestos survey the retail unit which formally housed Blythswood was demolished and replaced with the village Christmas tree. The final demise of Northern Oils/Caley Oils whilst unfortunate presented an opportunity for UHT to upgrade and replace fuel delivery equipment around the harbour. The ageing tanks were emptied and steam cleaned before being filled with foam / concrete, and all the old pipe work was emptied, cleaned and removed. UHT has installed two new 100,000 litre fuel tanks and several hundred metres of new pipe-work to seven berths around the harbour. UHT interviewed a number of fuel suppliers and have appointed Highland Fuels as the tenant to supply fuel and operate the new facility from February 2017.

2016 has been another very good year and with the continued support of the community UHT can only go from strength to strength. On behalf of Ullapool Harbour Trustees I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers, tenants and stakeholders a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.