Harbour News January 2021

38 arrivals for the period

Ullapool Harbour Trust continues to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic; supporting vital transport links to the Western Isles and handling routine fishing and commercial traffic. Harbour services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the harbour can be contacted by phone, email and VHF. Strict social distancing and hygiene measures are in place with restricted access to the harbour building which remains locked at all times.

Whitefish totalled 7,750 boxes from six Scottish trawl and five Anglo-Spanish longline landings.   The Scottish effort has been cautious in January; the industry remains in the dark about quota allocations and skippers are nervous about export delays affecting prices.  Much of the fleet remains tied up in the hope that quota talks will be finalised and the mountains of export paperwork will be fine-tuned to a more workable and timeous process. Those that are fishing have reduced their trip duration, landing less fish in the hope that prices will remain fair. Similarly, the Anglo fleet is hampered by pointless bureaucracy with requirements to complete countless pieces of pre-export paperwork. In addition, long transport delays as catches are re-inspected and export paperwork rechecked, it’s little wonder the industry is in post-Brexit disarray.

The Shellfish sector has been hit hard as Covid impacts on consumer demand and Brexit impacts heavily on live product exports. That said, markets seem to have improved in recent days with twelve landings from visiting prawn trawlers, a single landing from an offshore crabber and two scallop landings. Hopefully as the year goes on and Covid restrictions ease, the markets will pick up for the sector.

Non-fishing was fairly busy.  The MCA tug Ievoli Black called in for a crew change, the Irish pelagic pair team Havilah and Stephanie M came in for spares and the fishfarm vessels Ronjafisk, Guard Supplier, Volt Processor and Viking Enterprise were all in for layovers.