Local fishing industry figures have been shortlisted in over half of the categories for this year’s Fishing News Awards.
The awards ceremony, to be held in Aberdeen on 25th May, will feature strong representation from the isles. Shetland will be represented in eight of the 12 categories included in what is the only British fishing industry awards programme.
LHD’s Richie Simpson has been shortlisted in the lifetime achievement category and is praised by the selection panel for playing “a vital role in the development of the modern Shetland fishing industry.”
In the young fisherman of the year section Whalsay’s Christopher Irvine will compete with four other fisherman (three of whom are Scottish) for the honour of being named the top fisherman under 25.
The pelagic fisherman of the year category will see two local fishermen going head-to-head. They are George William Anderson, skipper of the Adenia, and Lowrie Irvine, a founding partner of the Antares Fishing Company.
We land more fish than the whole of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Shetland features so strongly in these awards. SIMON COLLINS
Of the five shortlisted fishermen in the demersal fisherman of the year category two are from Shetland. They are Andrew White of the Copious and Ivan Garriock of the Valhalla.
Crab and lobster fisherman Richard Grains is among five nominees for shellfish fisherman of the year.
Shetland also features in the boat, port and safety categories as well. Both the Resilient and the Antares feature in the new boat of the year category, Scalloway port has been shortlisted for fishing port of the year and the NAFC Marine Centre is among four organisations contending the contribution to safety award.
Simon Collins, executive officer of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association, said: “The nominations reflect that Shetland is a linchpin of the whole UK fishing industry.
“In Shetland we land more fish than the whole of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Shetland features so strongly in these awards.”
The four categories without Shetland representation are technical innovation of the year, independent fresh fish retailer of the year, fish processor of the year and coastal fish restaurant of the year.
Pat Eggington, publisher of Fishing News, said: “The strength of the nominations we’ve received this year has been impressive. People in commercial fishing work tirelessly to provide the UK and Ireland with the highest quality fresh seafood.
“We wish to celebrate the determination and professionalism shown by everyone involved in the fishing industry, and to highlight how vital a role is played by so few.”
Voting is open at www.fishingnews.co.uk/awards in every category except young fisherman of the year and lifetime achievement. Voting closes on 28th April.