Shellfish Fisherman of the Year

Sponsored by GaelForce Gael Force logo

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

SHORTLIST

Mark Pender

As both a director at Island Fish Ltd and skipper of the Tradewinds, Mark has developed a low impact method of fishing that has a high value-added return without working large amounts of gear. He has worked with local businesses and the result is ‘fishing on demand’. Mark fishes to a daily ‘shopping list’. This means a greater focus and understanding of the habitat and movements of fish in the local waters; each day’s haul commands a far greater price than it would otherwise, and Mark fishes specifically for what people want. He is Chair of the Isles of Scilly Fisherman’s Association, working hard to develop strong working relationships between the fishermen and the local IFCA. The result is that ALL island fishermen are currently working with the Isles of Scilly IFCA to develop intelligent conservation measures that look at supporting the island’s crawfish population.

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Mark Rowse

Over the past 30 years Mark has worked tirelessly to promote shellfishing and the good practices within this sector. Mark is fully committed to the future of the shellfish industry and has invested in four modern vivier vessels, the most recent of which is currently being finished. In 2013, Mark opened The Real Cornish Crab Company which supplies hand-picked, completely traceable Cornish crab all over the UK, whereas previously 90% would be exported to Europe. Mark is passionate about everything crab and works extremely hard to share this passion with others. His commitment is above and beyond the call of duty.

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Michael Morrison

Michael lives and breathes fishing and will take every opportunity to talk fishing. He has been a fisherman for many years, but he bought a scallop boat two years ago, with no scallop fishing experience. He has really turned this around. Fishing comes first, and Michael chose to put enviro-dredges onto his boat, Novantae OB15. These have proved a success for Michael, who is always learning on the job.

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Richard Grains

Previous experience on whitefish boats led to Richard deciding that he wanted to move inshore, and he has successfully fished crabs and lobsters with the Valentia LK 21 for four years. Keen to help others get a start in the fishing industry, he currently has a trainee on his boat, and has ensured that he has undertaken all the necessary safety training. Always willing to help and provide information from his extensive knowledge, Richard’s hard work and commitment to the industry, his success as a shellfish fisherman, and his willingness to help others are commendable.

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Steven Girgan

Steven has been a top scallop fisherman for around 35 years. He keeps an immaculately clean and tidy boat, which is a credit to him and his crew. Steven is unquestionably an excellent fisherman, however he has even greater talents with the pen and paper and is dogged in fighting for fishermen’s rights. Almost single-handedly, he managed to keep parts of Luce Bay open to scallopers; he tirelessly fights the fisherman’s corner to maintain and keep our scalloping fishing grounds.

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