Tributes have been paid to Leslie Tait MBE who has retired from his post as lecturer in navigation and seamanship at the NAFC Marine Centre, in Scalloway.
Tait joined the NAFC in 2002 after 34 years as a commercial fisherman, the last 19 as skipper of the seiner netter Harmony (LK 63).
NAFC section leader for fisheries, Mark Fullerton, said the extensive knowledge and experience he had gained as a fisherman made him ideally suited to help train new generations of fishermen and other seafarers.
“He has been able to cover a wide range of subjects from teaching theory in a classroom to practical boat handling and navigation at sea,” he said.
“His patience and a pleasant attitude in the class have led to him being a very respected member of staff at the NAFC.”
One Tait’s former students, Ian Shearer, skipper of the local whitefish fishing boat Courageous (and winner of the Fishing News Young Fisherman of the Year award in 2016), added: “Leslie was a big help to us from the courses he taught to all the experience and advice he passed on right from when we started out as trainees. He will be a big miss.”
The 65-year old has also helped to operate NAFC’s research and survey vessels, contributes to many of its fisheries research projects, and has played a key role in liaising between the college and the fishing industry.
For the last eight years he has served as chairman of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association, and for eight years before that as chairman of the Shetland Fish Producer’s Organisation. In 2016 he was warded an MBE for his services to the fishing industry.
He said he had enjoyed working at NAFC and being able to pass on his knowledge and experience to new generations of fishermen.
“Working with these fishermen, both as new-entrants and as they progress to their skipper’s tickets, gives me great confidence in the future of the fishing industry in Shetland.”
He will continue serving as the chairman of the local fishermen’s association.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 430 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News