Demersal Fisherman of the Year

Sponsored by Peterhead Port Authority logo

To be awarded to a UK- or Ireland-based fisherman who has made a clear commitment to the demersal fishing industry in 2018. Skills, determination, leadership ability and adaptability to changes in today’s industry are all important qualities.

Shortlist

Duncan Cumming, Avrella LK 174

As a new skipper, Duncan is proving to be a great success, showing a strong commitment to the industry and performing well at the seine net. Now 30, he started on the Orkney trawler Aalskere at 16. Since the acquisition of the family boat in 2015, in partnership with his father Trevor and brother Owen, he has worked his way up to second skipper. He has a go-ahead attitude and is always trying to better himself and his fishing, and adapted from trawler to seine net very well.

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David Driver, Girl Debra E 444

David is one of the few owner/skippers left in Brixham. After starting his fishing career on smaller inshore boats in Devon, he worked his way up the ladder. This gradual progression was maintained with the build of the first Girl Debra. A second boat of the same name was commissioned in 2000 – a versatile 14.95m beam trawler/scalloper/twin-rig trawler. For reasons outside his control, this project was not without its challenges initially, but were overcome through sheer hard work and determination. Nineteen years later, he continues to show similar levels of dedication.

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David Milne, Faithlie FR 220

For 25-plus years, David Milne has shown that he is a top whitefish skipper, with extensive knowledge of the fishing grounds both off the west coast of Scotland and in the North Sea. In this time, during which he has taken delivery of two new whitefish boats, he has demonstrated his skill at many types of fishing, including fly-shooting, single-boat trawling and pair-seining. David is also chairman of the White Fish Producers’ Association in Scotland, a role in which he is highly thought of and well-respected.

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Colin Stephen, Harvest Hope PD 120

Colin started work with his father, and has been fishing for 30 years. Together with his brother James, he owns and runs Harvest Hope – one of the largest whitefish boats in the country – from Peterhead. Colin is one of the best fishermen in the fleet, and never fails to fill Harvest Hope. He has a vast knowledge of all the fishing grounds, and always seems to hit the right spot and fill his boat. He takes the changes in the industry in his stride and just gets on with the job.

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James West, Westro PD 20

At 19, James West took over from his father James as skipper of the family boat Fruitful Bough, before going on to skipper the new Fruitful Bough in 2004. Six years later, he had the 21m twin-rig trawler Golden Sceptre PD 50 built by Macduff Shipyards Ltd. The same boatyard launched the similar-sized Westro PD 20 for James towards the end of last year, to complete his notable achievement of commissioning three new boats in 14 years. James has a business model that works, and has passed on his knowledge to his brothers.

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To see other category shortlists, click here

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