UK - The best and brightest of the British fishing industry have been honoured in the UK’s only awards ceremony celebrating their hard work and dedication, the Fishing News Awards.
Scottish fishing businesses were big winners last night, taking home six gongs, including the coveted Young Fisherman of the Year, for Ian Shearer (as joint winner), and Lifetime Achievement Award, for Billy Hughes. Scottish-based fishermen also scored two wins in the species-specific Fisherman of the Year awards, winning in the Pelagic and Shellfish categories.
The South West and Yorkshire also put in a strong show, with winners in two categories each. Brixham was crowned Port of the Year while Brixham Trawl Makers was named joint winners in the Technical Innovation of the Year category for its work in creating the revolutionary square beam trawl concept. Meanwhile, Whitby’s Parkol Marine Engineering took home the Best New Boat of the Year award for their work building the Shetland-based whitefish trawler, Guardian Angell.
The awards were rounded out with Fish Restaurant of the Year, which went to Northumberland’s the Old Boathouse; Fish Processor of the Year, awarded to Grimsby-based Flatfish; and the Safety Award, which went to Robert Greenwood, Safety Officer at the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO).
Presented at a ceremony in Aberdeen on 26 May, the awards were hosted by Sunday Brunch co-presenter Simon Rimmer. Simon is a professional chef and restaurateur, and is chef patron of two award-winning restaurants in Manchester.
About the winners, Rimmer said: “Eating top quality seafood is one of life’s great pleasures, so it’s been fantastic to pay tribute to those who work day-in, day-out to get it onto our plates. As a chef, I know the value of getting the best possible fish and we really are incredibly fortunate in this country to be blessed with such a committed and skilful fishing industry providing us with fantastic fish all year round.”
Brought back after an eight-year absence, the Fishing News Awards celebrate the men and women who work long hours, often in extremely difficult conditions, to put healthy and sustainable food on our tables.
David Linkie, Editor of Fishing News, which runs the awards, said: “The dedication shown by tonight’s winners, and indeed the entire fishing industry, is second to none. These fishermen, businesses and restaurant are the lifeblood of the industry and deserve this recognition.
“It was particularly pleasing to see three strong entries for the safety category as fishing remains a dangerous business. While the NFFO’s Robert Greenwood was the overall winner, he works extremely closely with the RNLI, Seafish and Sunderland Marine Insurance at every opportunity to promote the highest standards of training and improve the safety of fishermen all across the country.”
Fishing remains one of the UK’s most challenging occupations, with almost 12,000 fishermen still setting out to catch the 756,000 tonnes of seafood landed by British vessels each year.
TheFishSite News Desk