Demersal Fisherman of the Year

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To be awarded to a UK- or Ireland-based fisherman who has made a clear commitment to demersal fishing. Skills, determination, leadership ability and adaptability to changes in today’s industry are all important qualities.

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Andrew White (Copious LK 985)

Following a strong partnership with Mark Anderson on Copious LK 985, Andrew took over as skipper in 2008 and has fished very successfully with her since then. He has become one of the most successful young skippers in Shetland, and regularly attends SFA meetings where his contributions are very valuable. Progressing from a new entrant with no fishing background, to skipper and part-owner of a successful demersal fishing boat in less than 10 years, Andrew has demonstrated what can be achieved with commitment and hard work.

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Brackan Pearce (Spirited Lady III)

Skippering the twin-rigged over-10m Spirited Lady III for the past four years, Brackan has shown true determination to succeed. He works well with other fisherman and is dedicated to the job, willing to take on and try new methods and experiment with new ideas. He loves his local community, Mevagissey, and is a leading light among a great bunch of young lads who hail from that Cornish port.

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Ivan Garriock (Valhalla LK 687)

Ivan Garriock first went to sea at 15. He enrolled at college, and worked hard to find strategies to overcome severe dyslexia and complete his SVQ Level 2. He trained on the Sunbeam LK 335, skippered by his uncle John Garriock, and was there for a number of years until it was sold, showing a particular interest in engineering. He then fished with various Shetland boats until he was asked to buy into the Valhalla LK 687 in 2009, sailing on her as the engineer, then taking over as skipper three years ago. Ivan is proactive, hosting scientists on board, and has tried various nets to try to improve fishing. He also has all safety equipment on board and reinforces that PFDs get worn and all crewmembers have been trained in all aspects of safety.

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Ross Christie (Opportune LK 209) 

Shetland skipper Ross Christie is highly regarded as a progressive thinking and inspirational figure by his colleagues. Unusually Ross is equally successful at both seine-netting and single boat trawling, having worked hard to develop this dual capability. He and his partners showed their commitment to this way of working and the future of the whitefish sector in Shetland, by reinvesting their lifetime’s work in 2016 with the customised rebuilding of the new Opportune, to replace their previous boat of the same name. Throughout his career Ross has shown good vision and is always willing to try something different, which usually results in consistently good catches of demersal fish being landed in to Shetland.

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Sandy McLeman (Rosebloom INS 353, Boy John INS 110)

A very forward-looking progressive skipper, Sandy has built two identical pair-seiners in the past three years, to take the family business forward with his three brothers. He is committed to, and believes in, the long-term future of demersal fishing.

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