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February 2024

News from Mallaig Harbour: February 2024

By News

The Sprat pump has been dismantled and removed for another year. There were some landings of Sprats the first week the boats were back at sea after New Year, but only for a few days. Since then, it seems like it has been endless gales, with very little opportunity for the boats to be at sea in January. That is, apart from the few days of snow we had! The beginning of January also saw the sale of the Rebecca Jeneen, which will be a loss to the fishing industry locally. Looking at the figures from last year, which incorporate all species landed through Mallaig, 2023 was on a par with 2022, 2019 and 2018.

Some of you may have seen the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s publicity around their ‘Pride in the Seas’ exhibition, which features accounts and portraits from 12 advocates for the Scottish Fishing industry, including two from Mallaig, Willie-John McLean and Erin MacKenzie. As well as a social media campaign, the portraits are due to be exhibited at the Scottish Parliament later in the year. You can find more details on their website,

It’s been another one of those months with a lot going on in the background, but not much visible progress yet. MKA Economics have been working on the Economic Impact Assessment, and will present their findings to our Board on Friday 9th February. We have to say thanks to all the local businesses and organisations who took some time to answer Mark and Leeanne’s questions about how they interacted with the Harbour and what the constraints and opportunities are associated with the Harbour as it stands. It’s been an interesting exercise to go through, not least in the context of a reducing population for Mallaig over the last 20 years. Hopefully we will be able to share the headline findings next month.

We’ve also been working with CMAL and CalMac to look at the detailed design for the overnight ferry berth, and the implications of the replacement for the Lord of the Isles on the existing infrastructure in Mallaig. The Marine Licences we have allow us to undertake works in the Outer Harbour until March 2026, but we’re aware that building an overnight berth for the ferries will have to be done while the winter ferry timetable is in place, so we are lining everything up to enable us to do this at the end of the year.

Jacqueline McDonell