SCALLOWAY Harbour has won the title of Fishing Port of the Year in the 2020 Fishing News awards while a young Scalloway fisherman has won the Trainee Fisherman of the Year Award.
The award for fishing port recognises the “extremely high level of service to the skippers and crews of local and visiting whitefish boats” at Scalloway Harbour during the redevelopment of the fish market.
Work began in late 2018 to demolish the old building and to construct new and larger premises on the same site. During this time, a temporary chilled fish market was created nearby to allow landings to continue.
Judges recognised that by continuing to provide service during this “very unusual and challenging situation” was a “unique and large scale achievement”.
The new state-of-the-art £5.6 million Scalloway fish market has been funded by Shetland Islands Council and doubles the space of the previous market which was originally built in the 1970s, to offer floor space of around 1,950 metres.
The energy-efficient building includes a fibre connection for direct access to the online electronic seafood auction, providing ready access to the marketplace for buyers and sellers.
The ports of Brixham, Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Scrabster were also shortlisted in the Fishing Port of the Year category.
Shetland Islands Council’s harbour board chairwoman Andrea Manson said: “This is a feather in the cap for Scalloway Harbour, whose staff provide an excellent service for whitefish boats and other industry vessels.
“Scalloway Harbour has seen landings grow significantly over recent years and this is partly due to the services and facilities available. Shetland Islands Council’s investment in the new fish market shows our level of commitment to support the future growth of the harbour and the local economy.”
The Trainee Fisherman of the Year Award meanwhile went to Campbell Hunter, a crewman on the trawler Guiding Light (LK 84).
Campbell was brought up in Scalloway where his family was mainly involved in the fish buying and processing sector of the industry. While still at school he enrolled on the NAFC marine centre’s Maritime Skills for Work programme gaining five SQA units relating to maritime activities.
On leaving school, Campbell enrolled on the centre’s Seafish Introduction to Commercial Fishing programme, and gained a berth on the Guiding Light where he is making “good progress”.
He enrolled on the Seafish Safety Awareness course as soon as he was eligible and then on a Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing.
During this training he gained knowledge of safe working practices and seamanship skills, gained a VHF Radio Certificate and undertook a high level of net mending.
Part of his training included his class making a complete rockhopper trawl net from scratch, something few fishermen have had the opportunity to do.
NAFC section leader for fisheries training Mark Fullerton said: “He is a worthy winner of this award which had entrants from throughout the UK. During all of his training at NAFC Campbell’s attendance, classroom and practical work were excellent.”
Local pelagic boats Adenia (LK 193), Charisma (LK 362) and Zephyr (LK 394) were all shortlisted in the New Boat of the Year – Pelagic category.
The Fishing News Awards 2020 recognise the achievements, innovations, and successes of the commercial fishing industries of the UK and Ireland in 2019.
The awards were announced online rather than at a presentation evening, as in previous years.
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