Top prizes at national fishing awards

The Shetland fishing industry has again taken top honours at the UK’s only national awards for those working in commercial fishing.

The region had nominations in five categories of the Fishing News Awards and three awards went to individuals and businesses from the isles.

Chris Duncan of Ollaberry, skipper of the Altaire, took the Pelagic Fisherman of the Year title, while the Whalsay boat Research won the best pelagic vessel in the New Boat of the Year category.

At the award ceremony are (from left): compere Des Clarke, Research skippers Gary Williamson and Alex Wishart and Fishing News editor David Linkie.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Fishermen’s Association and Fisheries Innovation Scotland were awarded one of two Sustainability Awards given this year, for their study on scientific self-sampling.

A special Life Saver Award was presented to the owner and crew of the Brixham-registered Emilia Jayne by HM Coastguard, in recognition of the high levels of safety procedures practised and used when crewman Reegan Green was washed overboard in March.

As per his training, Mr Gren was wearing a lifejacket while on deck and was safely recovered after spending an hour in icy 20-foot seas during a storm. Had he not been wearing a lifejacket things would have been very different.

The awards were presented at a ceremony in Aberdeen last Thursday. They celebrate the hard work and dedication of those in the UK and Irish commercial fishing industries – with fishermen, fishing ports, retailers and processors all honoured at the event.

Fishing News editor David Linkie said: “At a time when investment in the fishing industry, together with consumer demand for seafood sourced from well-managed and sustainable fisheries is at unprecedented high levels, the awards provide an opportunity to recognise the commitment and skill of those who work endlessly towards this achievement.

“Harvesting a renewable food source from an environment that is constantly challenging and dangerous, requires teamwork of the highest level.

“From fishermen to processors, boatyards to service providers, every part of this team collected awards on behalf of their colleagues in the industry, who they were nominated by and selected to represent at the 2019 awards presentation evening.

“It was great to meet people from so many different geographical areas and age groups, who are united by their shared passion for and commitment to fishing.

“Congratulations to the winners on the night, and also to everyone in the industry who quietly contribute to its success in their own unique and always understated way.”


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