Fishing News Awards 2022: Voting open now!

With an unprecedented number of nominations for this year’s Fishing News Awards coming in from all around the British Isles, it’s been a busy few weeks assessing the nominees and whittling down the candidates.

We are delighted to now be able to reveal this year’s shortlists – some of them rather longer than we intended because of the quality of this year’s entries.

Voting is now open, and this year, eight of the categories will be decided by Fishing News readers. The remaining two – the Sustainability Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award – will be decided by a panel of judges drawn from the fishing industry.

So now it’s over to you, and it couldn’t be simpler – just click here and place your vote for your favourite in each category.

Voting closes at midnight on Monday, 11 April.

OVER 10M FISHERMAN OF THE YEAR

To be awarded to a UK- or Ireland-based demersal, pelagic or shellfish fisherman, working in the over-10m sector, who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry in 2021, demonstrating skill, determination, leadership ability and adaptability to changes in today’s industry.

Sponsored by Peterhead Port Authority

Simon Harvey

Fishing is very much a family affair for Simon Harvey. Along with his father Brian, and brother Andrew, he fishes out of Fraserburgh on the Orion BF 432.

Simon’s career began at an early age, and he spent summer holidays as a child fishing on the family’s boats. On leaving school and completing a young fishermen’s course, he joined the family business full-time – and has been fishing ever since.

The family took delivery of the Orion in August last year from Macduff Shipyards. With a crew of six, the vessel targets prawns and whitefish. Simon says he never tires of heading out to sea with his family ‘to try and get a good catch’.

In his nomination, Simon was described as being a ‘caring, thoughtful and courageous skipper’. He is the first of his family to be shortlisted for a Fishing News Award.

On hearing of his nomination, Simon said he was ‘a wee bit surprised’.

Craig McGowan

Craig McGowan admits that he ‘sometimes used to skip school’ to get out to sea. “I started fishing for lobster from a small boat at around the age of 14,” he said.

On leaving school, Craig moved on to scallopers, before ultimately getting his qualifications and becoming a skipper himself.

Today, with more than 20 years’ fishing experience behind him, he skippers the Osprey BA 4 out of Kirkcudbright, with a crew of six or seven depending on the season.

Craig fishes predominantly for queenies, and for scallops in the summer. He says that he enjoys the ‘freedom of being at sea’.

“The world is your oyster,” he said. “I really like the freedom that fishing brings. I also like to constantly try new things, and always want to better the last landing.”

On hearing that he had been nominated, Craig said: “It’s nice. It’s great. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and it’s good to be recognised.”

UNDER 10M FISHERMAN OF THE YEAR

This award will go to a UK- or Ireland-based fisherman in the under-10m sector who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the industry in 2021, demonstrating skill, determination, leadership ability and adaptability to change.

Clive Mills

At around the age of 14, Clive Mills went down to the beach at Bognor Regis. Spotting a local fisherman, he walked over. “Did you catch anything, mister?” he asked.

“Don’t just stand there,” replied the fisherman. “Grab the end of the net and give us a hand.” And that’s where it all began for Clive.

He learnt his trade from the Bognor fishermen, including his future father-in-law Bryan Ide. “Best apprenticeship you could ever have,” said Clive. “They used a compass and a cigarette for navigation. By the time the cigarette had burnt down, they knew they were in the right spot.”

Clive later moved on to fishing a trawler out of Littlehampton, but with falling fish prices and a young family to support, he left the industry in 1997.

More than 20 years later, and hearing that Bognor’s once-famous beach fishing fleet was in danger of ceasing to exist, he returned to sea.

Clive is now leading a renaissance of the Bognor fleet, as well as championing low-impact, sustainable fishing and the rehabilitation of fishing grounds and Sussex kelp beds.

“Clive is representing inshore small-scale fishermen around the UK who have hope, combined with determination and an innovative spirit, to bring inshore fishing back from the brink,” said the person who nominated him.

 Anton Bailey

“My job is my hobby,” says Anton. “It’s all I’ve known.”

Anton was nine years old when he first started going to sea with his father. By the age of 16 he had joined him in fishing for crayfish on the tide from Jersey to the Isles of Scilly.

Anton’s career at sea has taken him all around the British Isles, from the Channel Islands to the Hebrides, but for the last 15 to 20 years, he’s fished out of Brixham.

Eight years ago, Anton moved inshore, as a result of becoming a single parent. However, his daughter Kaitlin, now 17, won’t be following in her father’s footsteps. “She hates boats,” he said. “She wants to be a doctor!”

In his nomination, Anton is described as being ‘an amazing guy that helps others and happily gives his wealth of knowledge to those less experienced’.

He currently fishes with one crew member on the Vicky Anna SC 32. On hearing of his nomination, Anton said: “I’m a little gobsmacked. I don’t know what to say.”

 Ashley Mullenger

Norfolk-based Ashley Mullenger says that she fell in love with being at sea around 14 years ago, after booking an angling trip on a charter boat.

“The skipper couldn’t get rid of me. His son, who was crewing for him, went to work on a local crab boat, so I spent my weekends and annual leave from work gutting fish and untangling mackerel feathers as his crew,” she told Fishing News.

Ashley has now been fishing commercially for more than three years, has almost 7,000 followers on her Instagram account @thefemalefisherman and has become a strong voice for women in the industry.

In her nomination, Ashley is described as ‘championing the small-scale under-10m fleet and doing as much as she can through social media and various other media outlets to raise awareness for the seafood that we have available right here in the UK’. “She is also strongly motivated by encouraging women into the industry.”

 Darren Passmore

“Fishing has always been part of my life,” says Darren Passmore.

Seeing Darren’s obvious passion for fishing, his school decided to put him through his skipper’s ticket – he passed aged just 16.

His career has taken him from fishing with his father on a small boat, to beamers, and now to day-boats. For the past six years he’s skippered the 9m Resolute BM 33 out of Brixham. “I steamed the Resolute back from Appledore, and haven’t looked back since,” he said.

In his nomination, Darren is described as someone who ‘eats, sleeps and breathes fishing’.

“My whole family is involved in fishing,” he said. That includes his young children, Ava and Henry. “Ava is my apprentice – she loves it, helping me with the gear in the garden.

“When the school was asking the children what they wanted to be when they grew up, Ava stood in front of her whole class and said: ‘I want to be a fisherman like my dad.’”

Darren is described as being very community-orientated, and last year raised thousands of pounds for the Mission, winning him its award for Fundraiser of the Year.

“I put my heart and soul into fishing. I’m deeply honoured to have been nominated,” he said.

YOUNG FISHERMAN OF THE YEAR

This category will recognise a fisherman, under 30 years of age on 31 December, 2021, and based in the UK or Ireland, who has demonstrated outstanding skill, commitment and determination to succeed in the industry.

Sponsored by Seafish

Henry Sharp

Twenty-year-old Henry Sharp followed his father into the industry. He now fishes out of Brixham on the beam trawler Emilia Jayne BM 10.

Henry is described as being ‘enthusiastic and hardworking’, with a very mature head on his young shoulders. He’s already successfully completed most of his skipper’s ticket qualifications, with only engineering left to sit.

He says the best part of the job is being out at sea and seeing things you don’t necessarily see on land, such as the stunning sunsets.

In his nomination, Henry is described as ‘rapidly becoming a very valuable contribution to the fishing industry’.

“Henry fishes in all weathers with a more experienced crew, who have come to rely on him as a valuable crew member. When not fishing, he readily takes part in any maintenance tasks ashore,” said the nominator, a prominent member of the Brixham fishing community.

On hearing of his nomination, Henry said he was ‘pretty surprised’.

Joseph Chase

Ever since he was very young, Joseph Chase knew that he wanted a career at sea. Following a period of working in a boatyard, he spent three years fishing for bass from Plymouth.

After a five-month spell in Lyme Regis gill-netting for Dover sole on a boat he helped to refurbish, Joseph now fishes out of Brixham on the Vicky Anna SC 32.

Twenty-five-year-old Joseph is described as having an ‘amazing passion for the lifestyle and art of fishing’. His nominator says he takes the 3am starts and 16-hour days ‘in his stride’ and that ‘his cheerful enthusiasm and solid work ethic have gained him respect from his fellow fishermen in Brixham’.

“I love fishing,” says Joseph. “Besides being outdoors, I also love the opportunity to provide for others. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”

On hearing of his nomination, Joseph said he felt ‘very humbled’. “We’ve been working really hard, and it’s nice when someone puts your name forward.

“It feels great. It feels fantastic.”

Josh Buchan

Josh Buchan started his fishing career early. He was helping creel boats at the age of seven, and by the time he turned 14 he had his own boat, the Josh-Rose.

On leaving school, Josh joined the Macduff-based family fleet full-time, fishing on the Ellorah, Shaulora, Jolanna and Shalanna. During lockdown, he helped to form Salt Water Seafoods – a company providing seafood box deliveries. Today, the business continues to deliver fresh fish to customers throughout Aberdeenshire and Morayshire.

Despite the ongoing success of Salt Water Seafoods, 18-year-old Josh admits he prefers being at sea. “I’ve always been interested in fishing,” he says. “It’s in the family. I’ve grown up with it – landing boats since I was really young.”

Josh was nominated for his ‘commitment and desire to succeed in the industry’. He is described as showing good leadership skills and as someone who is ‘always willing to listen to advice from his skippers and crew members’.

Matthew Pullar

Montrose-based Matthew Pullar has been involved in fishing since he could walk. Brought up in the family’s wild salmon business, by the age of 13 he was fishing from a 16ft open boat. He later progressed to a new-build Islander 19, which he fitted out himself in 2020.

Last year, he moved on to a 10m by 3.6m cheetah catamaran and named it Daisy – the same name given to all his previous boats.

Still only 17 years old, Matthew is described as being a ‘very professional, self-sufficient single-handed creel fisherman’.

He says that fishing sometimes has its downsides but ‘on a bonny day there’s no better place to be than out on the water’. “It’s the peace and quiet. There’s no boss, no clocking in and out. You’re just out on your own.”

Matthew was nominated for his ‘commitment and determination to succeed’. His achievements so far were described as being ‘quite remarkable’.

Rowan Davies

Fishing is very much in the blood for 25-year-old Rowan Davies from Dunbar, with a long line of fishing heritage coming from both sides of his family.

Rowan started in the family business as a 12-year-old, helping out with landing the catch. By the age of 15 he was giving up his summer holidays to go out fishing, and officially joined the family vessel, Spitfire, seven years ago.

The Spitfire is a traditional prawn trawler, one that Rowan, who already holds his skipper’s ticket, hopes to skipper himself one day – following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father.

He says that the best part of the job is not knowing what you’re going to catch, and the challenges that fishing brings. “I like learning new things every day,” he said.

Rowan was nominated for his ‘outstanding commitment to the job and the boat, giving up his free time to learn and better himself every day’.

On hearing of his nomination, Rowan said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. I can’t believe it. I’m over the moon.”

Sam Shuker

Sam Shuker was born in the Channel Islands where his father, Jon, was a well-known lobster fisherman.

The family moved to Dorset in 2013, and Jon started fishing out of Lyme Regis, with 14-year-old Sam crewing at every opportunity. A short while later, Sam had his first boat – a 15ft Orkney, spending summer holidays and weekends bass fishing and netting.

On leaving school, Sam started to fish full-time, joining Jon on his Cygnus Cyclone JBP, while continuing to run his own boat.

A year ago, Sam bought his own larger boat, Patricia Anne, and started year-round scallop diving. During periods of poor visibility, which makes diving impractical, Sam jumps straight on the JBP with Jon, trammel-netting for sole and skate.

Sam is described as being ‘a shining example of the new breed of thoughtful, intelligent and dedicated young fishermen in the industry today’.

He says that he finds a calmness in the hard work that fishing brings. “Everything on land is fast-moving. As soon as you get out on the boat, all of that just melts away.”

TRAINEE FISHERMAN OF THE YEAR

This award will recognise the most outstanding new entrant to complete a commercial fishing training course in 2021, who has demonstrated consistently high levels of application, commitment, understanding of the industry, practical skills and safety awareness.

Sponsored by Sunderland Marine

Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller swapped life on a building site for one at sea. Having always wanted to be a fisherman and after saving up to buy and then renovate his own boat, Nova C, he fulfilled that dream last year.

Fishing for lobster and Cromer crab off the Norfolk coast, Ryan says he has no regrets about his career switch.

“I had my own building business, and as a builder you’re always dealing with customers,” he said. “Fishing is freedom. The minute you go to sea, any problems are left on land. When you’re out there, nothing else really matters.”

Ryan was nominated by a prominent member of the local fishing community. “He could have gone with someone else to learn the ropes, but with a young family he needed to maximise returns straight away.

“You’ve got to take your hat off to him. As green as he was, he’s gone out and showed his metal by doing what he has done. Learning on his feet, he’s already made a success of it. This is what the industry needs.”

Isla Gale

Seventeen-year-old Isla Gale was described in her nomination as being a ‘twinkle of hope’ in a struggling industry.

Isle of Man-based Isla started out fishing with her father on the June Rose. “My dad is a fisherman,” she said. “I begged my mum to let me go out to sea with him.”

After leaving school, she moved on to the Shannon Kimberley RY 169. Fishing for scallops, Isla spends half the year fishing from the Isle of Man, and the other half on the west coast of Scotland. She says her friends all support her choice of career, but ‘none of them would do it themselves’.

Isla says she likes the hard work involved with fishing, and has ambitions to take on the boat and become skipper. “I like being at sea. I like being away from everything,” she said.

In her nomination, Isla was described as ‘always giving 100%’.

She said she was ‘surprised’ by her nomination. “I’m really happy. It’s exciting.”

John McLeman

John McLeman left school last summer at the age of 16 to join the family boats Rosebloom INS 353 and Boy John INS 110.

He did his courses through the North East Fishermen’s Training Association in Fraserburgh, completing his five-day bridge watchkeeping course on a Peterhead vessel before going on to pass health and safety, firefighting, survival techniques and first aid.

John is described as being ‘a hardworking young fisherman, consistent and committed to learning’ and an ‘asset to the industry’.

“He has worked through some poor weather during the winter, and this has not deterred him at all. He has shown a keen interest to learn all aspects of the job, and has turned his hand to learning skills in gutting, working in the fish hold and net mending.

“He has become an important member of the crew, learning new skills every day,” said one his nominators.

John told Fishing News that it was ‘an honour to be nominated’.

Mollie Smart

Everyone thought it was ‘All About That Bass…’ when 24-year-old Mollie Smart went to study music at Bristol University, but shortly after finishing her degree and moving to Poole it very quickly became ‘All About That Boat…’

Moving to Dorset and meeting up with fisherman boyfriend Louis Schmitt set the wheels of change in motion.

Louis took Mollie out for a trip in his Poole canoe. They threw a couple of lines over the side, and the first thing Mollie caught was the ‘fishing bug’.

Mollie signed up at Lyme Regis Fishing College and did her sea survival, health and safety, first aid and firefighting courses – she was all set to join Louis on his main boat, a 7m Colne cat.

During the summer they work inside Poole Harbour dredging for clams, moving further afield later in the year netting for sole, mullet and bass.

Mollie’s aim is to work towards a 16.5m skipper’s ticket. “None of my friends can believe what I’m up to. They’re off to get their nails done and I’m either gutting fish, fuelling a boat up, or have got a netting needle in my hand.

“I’ve found something I love doing – I can’t wait to get my own boat.”

Stephen Bruce

Eighteen-year-old Stephen Bruce fishes with his father Garry out of Fraserburgh on the Silver Fern. He started fishing a year ago and has gone from ‘strength to strength’.

“Every trip there’s nothing he won’t do,” said the Fraserburgh skipper who nominated Stephen. “Coming from a fishing background, he was keen to get into fishing from the day he left school.”

He says that Stephen always puts in 110%. “He’s never suffering from seasickness. He hasn’t had an easy time of it since joining the Silver Fern, but he’s now in charge of the deck, works the winch, maintains gear and can now cook as well.”

Stephen is looking to do his 16.5m skipper’s ticket soon, and learn the wheelhouse side of things.

“To see a youngster show so much enthusiasm is few and far between nowadays. It’s something the fishing industry is missing,” said his nominator.

On hearing of his nomination, Stephen said: “I’m shocked. It feels really good.”

PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

This award will recognise an innovative and exciting new product or product development that has brought demonstrable benefit to the fishing industry in 2021.

Unlike some of the other categories, where several candidates are vying for top spot in the 2022 awards, the nominations for this category threw up two outstanding products that look set to move from new innovations to becoming standard ‘must have’s’ across the industry. Such was their dominance among the nominations that we decided to narrow the shortlist to just these two.

Ecopro – Ecomotus

The Ecopro, from South West company Ecomotus, was first mentioned in Fishing News in the COP26 special edition last autumn, in an article from Heriot-Watt University.

The Ecopro utilises a concept known about for many years, but which to date hasn’t been used in the fishing industry. Using electrical currents to split minute quantities of distilled water into its component atoms, hydrogen is fed directly into the air intake of diesel engines. The hydrogen improves the efficiency of the burn process for the diesel, reducing fuel consumption by 10%, and emissions of the most harmful nitrous oxides by up to 90%.

FN spoke to Kevin Favis, owner of the Salcombe-based crabber Emma Jayne (Fishing News, 17 December, 2021, ‘New hydrogen system promises win-win for industry’), who confirmed how happy he was with system. In addition to the fuel reductions the vessel has enjoyed, he has also noticed very much cleaner oil.

Since that interview, the vessel has fitted a second Ecopro, linked to the 100hp auxiliary engine, and is benefiting from similar cost savings in running the generator as a result.

Kirstyn Munro, managing director of Ecomotus, told FN: “At Ecomotus, we say that doing your bit to clean up the planet shouldn’t cost the earth – our aim is to help as many businesses as possible to reduce their emissions and their fuel costs.

“The EcoPro is a type-approved, patented transitional system that works in harmony with your engine to improve the fuel burn. It retrofits to existing engines, with no requirement for engine modifications, to harness the benefits of hydrogen without the need for hydrogen storage tanks.”

Echo prawn detector – Seafield Navigation

An adapted version of a system developed in Canada, the Echo is a prawn detector that seems likely to transform the efficiency of the Nephrops trawl fleet, with a consequent reduction in carbon footprints.

FN has yet to cover this innovation, though we have been looking forward to doing so since being alerted to its potential by Fran West of Fraserburgh-based Seafield Navigation. Well-known across the industry for a raft of innovations relating to chart plotting, Seafield has been working since 2021 to adapt Echo, developed by Canadian company Notus Electronics, for use in the prawn fleet.

The system works by recording the distinct noise Nephrops make whilst passing through a small grid in the tunnel. Entirely wireless, this can tell a skipper in the wheelhouse exactly when he is catching prawns, and when he is not.

Fran West told Fishing News: “We have been working really hard to ensure the system adapts perfectly for use in the existing prawn fleet. The grid needed to use the system doesn’t interfere with the operation of the net, and can be wound onto net drums without any issues.

“The Echo system, especially if partnered with the Turbowin mapping software we have developed, means that a skipper can catch his quota much more efficiently, quickly learning where the main prawn hotspots are, and ignoring parts of the tow that may be on mud but are catching prawns at much lower densities.

“This is especially important given the surge in fuel prices we’ve seen recently, but regardless of this, it is a win-win for industry. This is another innovation that will continue the trend to fish ‘smarter not harder’ and further reduce the carbon footprint of our fleet.”

BOAT OF THE YEAR

This award celebrates innovation and excellence in the build and facilities of a new demersal, pelagic or shellfish vessel that entered service in the UK or Irish fleets in 2021. All boats reviewed in Fishing News are automatically entered into this category.

Endeavour V BF 515

Delivered at the start of 2021, the 34m whitefish stern trawler Endeavour V, for skipper Peter Lovie of Kinlochbervie, had the distinction of being the biggest boat built to date by Macduff Shipyards. The hull was fabricated under subcontract by the Finomar shipyard in Szczecin, Poland, before being towed to Macduff for machinery installation and internal outfitting. Of round bilge form, the hull incorporates a streamlined bulbous bow, flared stem, ballast box keel, deep V-bilge keels and a roll reduction tank.

Featuring three full-length decks, the arrangement was based closely on that of the successful Endeavour IV, but makes use of additional space to increase crew comfort, hold capacity and working deck areas. The vessel has a MaK 8M20 main engine and two Caterpillar C9.3 auxiliaries. MacGregor (GBR) Ltd supplied the extensive package of deck machinery.

FN review: 11 February, 2021

Courageous LK 470

The 28.1m single-rig whitefish stern trawler Courageous was delivered to Courageous Fishing (Whalsay) Ltd last April. Courageous’ new design of round bilge steel hull was built at the Stal-Rem shipyard in Gdansk, Poland and towed to Hvide Sande for completion by Vestværftet ApS.

The aft-bagging Courageous features a full-length trawl deck on which two sets of split sweepline winches are mounted right forward, and a highly automated fish-handling system designed to give maximum catch quality and full traceability. The full package of deck machinery was manufactured by Thyborøn Skibs & Motor A/S, which also designed the load-sensing hydraulic system. The Mitsubishi S12R main engine is coupled to a Heimdal HG5114 11.43:1 reduction gearbox to turn a Heimdal 2,780mm-diameter four-bladed VP propeller mounted in a matching high-efficiency nozzle.

FN review: 29 April, 2021

Amanda of Ladram PW 6

Built by Parkol Marine Engineering, the 20.40m Amanda of Ladram – the first new netter of this size to be built for the UK in nearly 20 years – joined the Waterdance fleet last April. Of round bilge design with a transom stern, bulbous bow and soft-nose stem, the vessel is based on the hull that designer Ian Paton of SC McAllister & Co developed for the Reliance III BF 800.

Particular emphasis was placed on achieving the optimum hauling/wheelhouse viewing position for maximum fishing safety, so the wheelhouse is offset to starboard and positioned further forward than is usual, with deep forward-facing windows that give a commanding view of the hauling station. The Volvo main engine drives a 2,300mm-diameter VP propellor through a Heimdal 8.9:1 reduction gearbox.

FN review: 3 June, 2021

Ella G 233

Designed by Ove Kristensen of Danish firm Vestværft and built by Mooney Boats, the 24m pelagic trawler/purse seiner Ella was delivered to the Atlantic Dawn Group of Killybegs last summer.

The vessel’s deck machinery package, from SeaQuest Systems, allows catches to be bagged forward over the starboard side, or pumped onboard at the starboard quarter. KER Group supplied and installed the vessel’s 275kW RSW system, as well as the vacuum pump with a 2,000-litre tank. Ella’s main engine is a Mitsubishi S12R-(Z3)-MPTAW, driving a 2,780mm four-bladed CP propeller via a HG510 2PTOCR gear.

FN review: 29 July, 2021

Antarctic D 97

Karstensens delivered the 63m pelagic trawler Antarctic to the Antarctic Fishing Company of Killybegs last July. Built to the yard’s own 63m design, the steel hull has a round bilge construction with bulbous bow and stern skeg, flared stem and transom stern, and there are two continuous decks, as well as long forecastle and boat decks.

Construction took place at Karstensens’ yard at Gdynia in Poland, and the semi-outfitted hull was towed to the yard in Denmark for completion. The 2,499kW MAN 9L27/38 main engine turns a 3,800mm-diameter MAN VBS940 propeller via a Renk RSVL-900 reduction gearbox. Killybegs company SeaQuest Systems supplied Antarctic’s hydraulic deck machinery. The vessel has a 1,370m3 capacity in its eight RSW tanks.

FN review: 19 August, 2021

Frank Henry DH 181

Delivered by Spanish shipyard Asteilleros Armon to South Devon owners, the 22m vivier-crabber Frank Henry joined the Dartmouth fleet last July.

The vessel is powered by a CAT C32 main engine driving a 1,800mm-diameter four-bladed CPP propeller through a ZF X650 gearbox. A 100hp 500mm four-bladed bow thruster is also fitted. The vivier tank capacity is 45m3.

FN review: 26 August, 2021

Orion BF 432

Delivered to Fraserburgh skipper Brian Harvey by Macduff Shipyards last July, the versatile prawn/whitefish twin-rig trawler Orion was built to the yard’s latest 24.5m hull model, following tank testing by the yard and Macduff Ship Design that showed a net reduction in hull resistance at steaming speeds. The fabrication of the hull was subcontracted to the Kedat shipyard in Szczecin, Poland, with the vessel then towed to Macduff for outfitting.

The Orion features a double chine hull form, transom stern and modern bow designed to cut cleanly through the sea, leading to reduced fuel consumption and emissions along with increased crew comfort. The propulsion package consists of a Caterpillar C32 main engine driving a 2,500mm Wärtsilä fixed-pitch propeller through a Masson Marine W7400 reversible gearbox. The bespoke hydraulic deck machinery package was fabricated by the yard.

FN review: 9 September, 2021

Faithful FR 129

Built at Macduff Shipyards’ Macduff premises and delivered to Fraserburgh skipper Stewart Buchan last June, the 26.5m Faithful is one of an identical pair-team with Crystal River FR 178 – the yard’s first new-build pair-trawl order in over 30 years.

The hull form was developed using CFD technology, assisted by the Wolfson Unit in Southampton, to reduce resistance and fuel consumption whilst also allowing for a large-volume fish hold. The propulsion package consists of a Caterpillar C32 main engine driving a 2,500mm fixed-pitch Wärtsilä propeller through a Masson Marine W7400 reversible gearbox. The vessel also features a triple rudder system, a modern high-lift propeller nozzle from Wärtsilä, and a bespoke hydraulic deck machinery package fabricated by the yard.

FN review: 7 October, 2021

Crystal River FR 178

The 26.5m pair-trawler Crystal River, for Fraserburgh skipper David Cardno, is the biggest vessel built to date at Macduff Shipyards’ Buckie yard. Following her delivery in September, the new vessel buckled up with her identical sistership Faithful – with which she shares all specifications of build and fit-out.

FN review: 7 October, 2021

Ambitious II DA 62

Built by Parkol Marine Engineering for David and Niall Kirwan of Clogherhead, the 26.70m multi-rig prawn freezer trawler Ambitious II was delivered last September. This build was a double first for Parkol: its first export to the Republic of Ireland and the first vessel built with Danish naval architect Vestværftet.

Ambitious II is of round bilge construction with a bulbous bow and transom stern. The shelterdeck extends almost to the transom, leaving an open aft deck from which to shoot and haul the gear. The deck machinery package was supplied by EK Marine, with the deck layout reflecting the style of the Kirwan brothers’ previous French-built vessels. The Mitsubishi S6R2-T2MPTAW3M main propulsion engine is coupled to a Reintjes WGF 773 gearbox to turn a 3,000mm-diameter five-bladed fixed-pitch propeller in a high-efficiency nozzle.

FN review: 18 November, 2021

Westra Fjord K 193

The 28m twin-rig stern ramp trawler Westra Fjord, for the Harcus Fishing Company in partnership with Don Fishing, joined the Orkney whitefish fleet last July. Designed by Ove Kristensen of Vestværftet, the hull was built at the Stal-Rem shipyard in Gdansk, Poland and towed to Hvide Sande for engine/machinery installation and fitting out by Vestværftet.

The vessel features a Mitsubishi S6U main engine, a Hundested CPG 120-2 gearbox with two PTOs for the hydraulic pumps, and a Hundested 3,000mm-diameter four-bladed CP propeller in a high-efficiency nozzle. The hydraulic deck machinery package was manufactured by Bopp.

FN review: 9 December, 2021

Lily James SN 36

Built for trawling, the 14m catamaran Lily James was built by G Smyth Boats of Kilkeel for North Shields owners Peter and Dennis Clark, and delivered last September.

The first 14m cat to be completed by the yard, the vessel is powered by a six-cylinder Doosan L136TI engine of 200bhp, and the hydraulics came from MacGregor/Rapp Ecosse UK of Peterhead.

FN review: 9 December, 2021

Loch Inchard III UL 44

With the distinction of being the biggest fishing vessel built at C Toms & Son to date, the 19.7m twin-rig trawler Loch Inchard III, for Kinlochbervie skipper Ian Mackay, was delivered last November. The vessel, which will target prime species, was designed by Marine Design International with a focus on maximising crew comfort and catch quality.

A powerful trawler for her relatively small size, the Loch Inchard III features a Baudouin 6 M33.2 main engine driving a 2,100mm-diameter four-bladed propeller, and has triple foil-section rudders, a KT-120 hydraulic tunnel thruster and a double-curvature high-efficiency nozzle. The deck machinery package came from Thistle Marine.

FN review: 16 December, 2021

Fruitful Vine BF 240

Macduff Shipyards signed the 24.5m Fruitful Vine over to Nicol Fishing in December. A versatile twin-rigger designed to target prawns and whitefish, occasionally pair-trawling with the Steadfast Hope, the new vessel is a near-identical sistership to the Orion BF 432, featuring the same remodelled bow, which is designed to decrease hull resistance for reduced fuel consumption and emissions, and greater crew comfort.

The vessel’s propulsion package consists of a Caterpillar C32 main engine driving a Wärtsilä 2,500mm fixed-pitch propeller through a Masson Marine W7400 reversible gearbox of 9.077:1 reduction. The yard manufactured a bespoke hydraulic deck machinery package and catch-handling system for the vessel, which has a 700-box-capacity fishroom.

FN review: 20 January, 2022

Valhalla FR 268

A versatile whitefish/prawn twin-rigger, the 27.80m Valhalla was delivered to skipper Mark Andrew Masson in December. The vessel had the double distinction of being Parkol Marine Engineering’s yard number 50 in its 50th anniversary year, and also being the largest vessel built in its Whitby yard to date.

Designed by SC McAllister & Co, the Valhalla is of round bilge construction, with a transom stern and a soft-nosed stem with a bulbous bow. It features a Caterpillar C32 main engine driving a Heimdal HG5114 gearbox to turn a VP 2,780mm-diameter K600 four-bladed bronze propellor. The extensive refrigerated fishroom has a capacity of 1,150 boxes. Deck machinery was supplied by Bopp, and the catch-handling system by Seagate Fabrication.

FN review: 17 February, 2022

Simon-Paul LT 9

The sixth boat that C Toms & Son has built for R&B Fishing, the 9.9m Simon-Paul was designed by Ian Paton of SC McAllister & Co and is based on the lines of the Saxon Spirit LT 1052 and Claude Henry LT 1057.

Delivered last autumn, the Simon Paul is a truly multi- purpose and can tow six scallop dredges per side, or tow a beam trawl, and with its derricks removed and net drums fitted, can go either single or twin stern rigging.

FN review to appear soon

Leila SO 108

The first of three identical 64m midwater trawlers built at the Cemre shipyard in Turkey for the Atlantic Dawn Group of Killybegs, Leila is built to a Salt Ship Design template. The sisterships – the other two will be the Lauren and the Veronica – are the first vessels that Cemre has built for Ireland.

Powered by a MAN main engine driving a MAN Alpha single-screw propeller via a Scana Volda gearbox, the vessel features deck machinery from SeaQuest Systems and Karmøy Winch, and has a 1,550m3 RSW tank capacity.

FN review of the three sisterships to appear later in 2022

SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

This new category will recognise a UK or Irish company, person or organisation that has provided outstanding service to the fishing industry in 2021.

Carol Elliott, SeaFit

“Some of the work we do is literally lifesaving,” says SeaFit programme manager Carol Elliott.

With a wealth of experience from a career in the voluntary sector, including spells in Cambodia and Uganda, Carol now spends her time helping members of the industry, and their families, at quaysides across the UK as part of the SeaFit programme, which provides a range of free mental and physical health and wellbeing services for fishermen and their families.

“We’ve had fishermen coming to us and saying that if it wasn’t for our support, they wouldn’t be here today,” said Carol. “We’ve also performed health checks where we’ve discovered problems in need of immediate medical attention.”

SeaFit is a joint initiative from the Fisherman’s Mission and the Seafarers’ Hospital Society, working in partnership with local providers to deliver sustainable improvements in the health and wellbeing of fishermen and their families around the UK.

Carol says that she is ‘really flattered’ to be nominated.

Tyson’s Ships Riggers

“This is a milestone year for Tyson’s Ships Riggers. It is our 40th year of trading, and I am very proud of what the team has achieved within these 40 years,” said director Mark Tyson, who set up the Grimsby-based company in 1982.

“We initially serviced the local fishing fleet based in Grimsby and the east coast. As the company evolved, my sons Chris Tyson and Jonathan Tyson have come into the business and expanded our divisions within the company.

“We’ve invested heavily in the future of the company. We have a 20,000ft2 distribution centre, which has helped us expand our product range and increase productivity in trawling, potting, aquaculture and marine-offshore.”

The business was nominated for its ‘excellent quality gear’ and ‘very quick and efficient service’.

Chris and Jonathan Tyson said: “We would not have received this nomination without our committed sales and warehouse team. It takes a team effort to make the company work smoothly and successfully.

“Our company motto is ‘Trust Tyson’s’, and we aim to deliver on this by providing quality products and service to all our customers.

“We would all like to say a massive thank you to all our customers for nominating us. We look forward to the next 40 years of trading.”

Karl Thomsen

“Our philosophy is simple,” says Karl Thomsen. “We aim to get the fishing boats back to sea as quickly as possible.”

Along with help from his father, Karl Thomsen founded his Buckie-based business back in 1985. “We pride ourselves on how quickly we can get to the customer,” he says.

Karl Thomsen has customers across the UK, and has recently expanded into Ireland. “We’re moving into a new workshop in the summer,” said Karl. “It’s ultra-modern and will enable us to become even more efficient.”

In the nomination, Karl Thomsen was described as ‘going above and beyond when it comes to getting a customer sorted quickly’.

Another customer said: “Karl will think nothing of working long into the night to get a set of warps made up so boats can get back to sea as soon as possible. Many a week he works seven days to keep the fleet going.

“We have worked with Karl for 30 years now, as you cannot buy service like his.”

Murdo Mackay Engineering Services

The best introduction to Scrabster-based Murdo Mackay Engineering Services is the conversation quoted in the nomination.

Nominator: “Happy New Year, Murdo.”

Murdo: “A good new year to yourself. I take it this is not a social call.”

Nominator: “Unfortunately not. We are needing a bracket welded up on our main engine alternator.”

Murdo: “No problem, I will be with you in 10 minutes.”

“It was 2am on 2 January, and sure enough, Murdo Mackay, the owner of Murdo Mackay Engineering Services, had us up and running and we were leaving Scrabster harbour two hours after the initial phone call,” the nominator told Fishing News. “They are undoubtedly contenders for the Service Provider of the Year award.”

Murdo Mackay, described by the nominator as being able to ‘fix anything from a tin soldier to a battleship’, said he was surprised by the nomination.

“It’s good to be recognised. We just try to help people out. If someone calls us up and needs our help, we just go. It doesn’t matter what time of day, or night, it is.”

Peter Telford

Barrister Peter Telford, of Newton Ferras, Devon, says he is ‘completely surprised’ by his nomination. “I didn’t expect it at all. It is really nice that there are people thinking of you.”

Peter was nominated for his ‘services to the fishing industry’. The person who nominated him said: “Peter has taken on a case that is a test case in respect of challenging the method of enforcement in respect of vessel monitoring.

“He has thrown himself into it wholeheartedly, and has been providing pro bono advice for fishermen who have found themselves the wrong side of the regulator.

“He has worked tirelessly to support the fishing industry through pro bono advice, which is a rare thing these days, when lawyers are often very focused on their fees.

“Peter will leave a very real legacy to the fishing industry for the support that he has given.”

Fairwinds Cornwall

Fairwinds Cornwall is a bespoke and dedicated service commissioned to support the mental wellbeing needs of fishermen and their families in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The service was established in 2018 by experienced mental health practitioner Ceri Summers, and is currently commissioned by NHS Kernow, working in close partnership with the SeaFit programme.

Fairwinds continued to deliver services throughout the pandemic. It also increased port visits last year around Cornwall, working closely with other partnership agencies in the fishing industry. The service says it is ‘dedicated to understanding the issues faced specifically by local fishermen and the impact on them’.

Ceri Summers said: “I am very excited that Fairwinds Cornwall has been considered for a Service Provider award. It’s great to be acknowledged for the support we continue to provide to the fishing communities in Cornwall – breaking down barriers, reducing stigma and listening at a time of challenges and change for all commercial fishermen.”

PORT OF THE YEAR

This award benchmarks best practice at fishing ports, harbours and landing areas of all sizes throughout the UK and Ireland in 2021, recognising excellence in services and amenities for the industry.

Brixham

2021 was a record-breaking year for Brixham, with £43.6m-worth of fish auctioned by Brixham Trawler Agents (BTA) – and its target figure for 2022 is £45m. BTA introduced the Kosmos clock auction system in June 2019 – the first of its type to be installed in Europe – and credits this for the fact that Brixham was able to weather the Covid crisis and keep the market running throughout.

Plans are now in place to extend the market and its adjoining facilities to provide space for the greater volumes of fish being sold at Brixham, alongside ambitious plans, contingent on local council funding, to develop the harbour infrastructure.

BTA has expanded its collection services for fish landed at ports around the south, southeast and southwest of England, and in South Wales, with a refrigerated fish haulage service that includes numerous pick-ups throughout the region, making it easier for small-boat operators to sell their catch quickly and get a better price for their fish on Brixham market.

Scrabster

December saw the latest phase of development at Scrabster declared open, with the completion of the £18.9m project to redevelop St Ola Pier. The Caithness port – the most northerly mainland port in the UK – has seen £38.7m of investment over the past decade. The redeveloped pier structure offers a total of 500m of deepwater berthing.

Scrabster is the landings port for Orkney’s three whitefish vessels as well as local whitefish and U10 shellfish boats. With 24/7 access to all facilities including the chiller, and recent investments having included improved vessel access, shore power facilities, enhanced fuel and water supply and modern welfare amenities, it is also a key landings port for a number of Scottish vessels working grounds to the north and northwest of Scotland, as well as for many foreign-owned boats.

With plans in place to move to the Kosmos digital auction system, business at the 2,000-box-capacity fishmarket at Scrabster is set to expand in the coming years.

Cadgwith

2021 saw a successful crowdfunding campaign by the fishermen of Cadgwith in Cornwall to save the fishermen’s buildings at the cove, which were threatened with sale and development for residential use.

Cadgwith, on the Lizard penisula, is the base for a thriving inshore fleet. There are around eight main boats fishing from Cadgwith, mostly potting and/or netting. It also has a number of smaller boats that handline for mackerel, pollack, bass and squid.

The crowdfunding campaign followed the fishermen’s successful campaign to persuade their local parish council to raise a loan to buy the cove’s historic winch house.

The crowdfunder hit its £300,000 target in under two months, with donations from over 8,500 people, raising enough money to secure the future of the two remaining buildings – essential storage space without which the future of the cove was not viable.

Peterhead

In 2021, Peterhead Port Authority (PPA) completed a six-month £5.5m project to refurbish and reinstate a 155m section of the revetment along Alexandra Parade to a height of 10m – with more than 25,000t of rock being deployed – to prevent high seas overtopping the seawall and threatening the new fishmarket building, which opened in 2018.

The UK’s premier fishing port saw a downturn in landings in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the triple whammy of Brexit, Covid and quota cuts, but nevertheless returned figures ahead of expectations.

A PPA spokesperson told Fishing News: “Peterhead continues to flourish, and we continue to see the port used by wide sectors of the fleet, from small potters through to large pelagic purse-seiners.

“2021 was overall a better year than 2020, with the vessels diversifying throughout the year to make best use of their quota, and an increase in shellfish and pelagic landings.”

THE SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

This award recognises innovation and achievement in improving sustainability and environmental responsibility within the UK or Irish fishing industries in 2021.

Nominations must demonstrate a unique and innovative response to an environmental sustainability issue within the UK or Irish industry, demonstrate that the project has gone above and beyond standard practice, and provide evidence of its impact. The judges will particularly be looking for projects that have influenced a significant change in behaviour and/or that have inspired broader awareness and/or engagement.

This category will be judged by a panel of industry experts.

Sponsored by The Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust

Scottish Entanglement Alliance

The Scottish Entanglement Alliance is, as the name suggests, a collaboration between a wide group of conservation interests, including Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation.

Run by Ellie McLellan, daughter of a Skye creel fisherman, the alliance completed Phase 1 of a project to assess the scale of interactions between cetaceans and static-gear fishermen in Scotland in December 2021, including training of creel fishermen in avoiding entanglements, and what to do if a cetacean is caught in fishing gear.

Further training will take place in Plymouth at the end of March, and Phase 2 of the project, to fund trials of gear that may avoid entanglement, such as the use of leadlines, is planned for later in the year. Fishermen are key partners in the project, which is key to the sustainable expansion of their fisheries.

For more information, go to: scottishentanglement.org

Clean Catch UK Bycatch Mitigation Hub

The Clean Catch UK initiative is a broad coalition of fishermen, scientists, wildlife groups and regulators with a wide-ranging and ambitious programme that aims to improve understanding of, and to reduce, bycatch across a swathe of British fisheries.

The NFFO, SFF and SWFPA are all members of the main steering group, which has access to independent scientific advice through Cefas. With a stream of work programmes supported by Cefas and both English and Scottish universities, the initiative aims to generate science-led policies, supported by industry, that will further reduce bycatch issues in UK fisheries.

Much of the work is still in progress: for example, testing, by Cornish fishermen, of an innovative headline float for use in gill-net fisheries that is designed to be highly visible to cetaceans, started earlier this year.

Find out more at: cleancatchuk.com

Ghost Fishing UK

Ghost Fishing UK is a registered charity bringing together groups of volunteer divers who donate their time and effort to removing lost fishing gear from the seabed, for safe disposal ashore. After being selected based on experience and ability, the divers undergo an intensive three-day training course before being assessed on a ‘live’ recovery project.

The charity has a notification system that allows fishermen to report locations of lost gear, and aims to work collaboratively with the industry.

Trustee Christine Grosart said: “Ghost Fishing UK is a unique charity in that we are supportive of the fishing community and want to work with them to reduce and recover lost fishing gear. Nobody benefits from ‘ghost gear’, and we recognise that losses are an unfortunate part of the industry.

“We can return any gear that the fishermen want back, and we can recycle anything they don’t. We can only recover accidental losses, though, ideally after attempts to recover the gear have failed.

“This is the final link in the chain to making a real difference.”

For more information, go to: ghostfishing.co.uk

North Eastern IFCA inshore scallop fishery management

After an emergency ban on scalloping in the district was imposed in 2015, North Eastern IFCA began to work with both static-gear and scallop fishermen to better understand the stock status of scallops in the district, and to strike the right balance between conservation of stocks and the competing priorities of different parts of the catching sector.

Using a mixture of data from vessel logbooks, scientific observers and direct research onboard the IFCA vessel North East Guardian, a series of seasonal and spatial closures were agreed with the industry, initially on a trial basis, but now more permanently. This has reduced potential gear conflict and stabilised scallop stocks, allowing the fishery to reopen without threatening stocks or habitats.

At a time when scallop dredging is coming under renewed scrutiny, the NEIFCA approach shows that a long-term, sustainable future for the sector is possible, which does not endanger marine habitats or other fisheries.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Selected by an industry panel, the winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be revealed at the awards presentation evening on 12 May. It will be awarded to an individual who, throughout their career, has been a true champion of UK or Irish commercial fishing.

Sponsored by the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association

Now that you’ve read all of this year’s shortlists, it’s time to pick your favourites. Click here to cast your votes for your chosen candidates.

The winners will be revealed in Aberdeen and on our social media channels on 12 May – and in a special feature in the 26 May issue of Fishing News.

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