Fishing Port of the Year

This award benchmarks good practice, recognising excellence in service and amenities found not only in the major ports and harbours throughout the UK and Ireland, but every landing area, regardless of size, in 2018.

**This category does not have a public vote. Instead, it will be judged by a panel drawn from the fishing industry, using all supporting evidence provided through the nomination process.**

Shortlist

Brixham

With a turnover of £35m in 2018, Brixham continues to be the biggest fishing port in England. Brixham prides itself on the excellent service provided to fishing vessels landing at the market, and the quality of the fish offered to the buyers. Port amenities include ice plant, fuel, box washing and settling agents. Brixham also offers a wide range of additional support services, including engineers, steel fabricators, net-makers, scallop gear manufacturers, painters and electricians. Brixham fishmarket continued to develop in 2018, when work began on the introduction of a new web clock auction. The first of its type to be installed in the UK, this is scheduled to become operational in the first quarter of 2019. It will provide trawler owners with a competitive, and more constant, price for their fish from buyers, who will be able to bid remotely for fish at auction from anywhere in the country, or Europe. Further planned investment includes new fish graders, scales and box washer plant for the fishmarket, additional storage facilities, and a new landing jetty for expanding businesses, including a large mussel farm. The long-term strategy for the port is to not only look at further improvements to the fishmarket, but also to develop the port by potentially providing a dry dock, and a northern arm to protect the harbour from poor weather.

No voting is required – this category will be decided by a panel of industry judges.

Fraserburgh

Following the deepening of the North Harbour basin, Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners welcomed a number of new fishing vessels into the fleet in 2018. With further investment in the fleet set to continue in 2019 and beyond, this demonstrates the commitment and confidence local fishermen have in their industry. 2018 also saw a significant increase in landings across all sectors. The ship repair activity afloat, supported by excellent repair facilities, including the six-berth shiplift and dry dock, continues to be extremely busy, attracting vessels from various marine sectors. Vessels returning to the facilities from all parts of the UK are testament to the service provided both by the harbour and by the contractors supporting the dry dock and shiplift. Fraserburgh harbour has been selected as the preferred port for the operation and maintenance of the £3bn Moray East wind farm project. A welcome further diversity into the port, this will complement the existing fishing industry and growing commercial trade. As well as providing excellent, long-term employment prospects for local people, the project will offer great economic opportunities for the local supply chain and community of Fraserburgh. The commissioners are now focusing on the long-term prospects of the harbour, and expect to have a draft master plan outlining their ambitious plans ready for public consultation in the early summer of 2019.

No voting is required – this category will be decided by a panel of industry judges.

Newlyn

Newlyn is one of the largest fishing ports in the UK and offers round-the-clock service and refuge to vessels that fish the Southwest Approaches. The harbour is the pinnacle of Cornwall’s fishing industry, and Newlyn is aspiring to become the UK’s leading port, and is recognised as a centre of excellence and for its pioneering and proactive approach. The harbour is transforming to provide fit-for-purpose facilities, services and expertise that support the development and sustainability of the fishing industry. Through social media, it actively promotes the livelihoods of its hardworking fishermen, and all those who make Newlyn their home. Newlyn has embarked on a rigorous maintenance programme, with the aim of ensuring the longevity and stability of its historic quays. The port’s fishmarket is nearing the end of a £1.3m refurbishment project, part-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, with the aim of delivering a full range of modern services, including fully-refrigerated catch facilities and a competitive selling platform. Visitors to the quayside are always very welcome, and the port has worked hard to achieve the Maritime Coastguard Agency-audited Port Marine Safety Code compliance in order to provide a safe haven for all users.

No voting is required – this category will be decided by a panel of industry judges.

Peterhead

2018 was a landmark year for Peterhead port; completion of the £51m inner harbour deepening and new fishmarket project resulted in significantly increased landings in the second half of the year. It all culminated in a record year by catch value and volume for the port. More than £202m-worth of fish was landed, an increase of 3.5% over 2017, while tonnage increased to 174,000t, a rise of 1.4% over 2017, reflecting a generally higher price structure being achieved. The new fishmarket was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, in September, to much aplomb. Along with the royal seal of approval, the port achieved the highest accreditation from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), an AA rating for global standards in food safety, guaranteeing the standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria. The port is also leading, in conjunction with Seafish, on the Responsible Fishing Port and Responsible Fishing Vessels schemes, which have been developed to raise standards in the catching sector, enabling those within the seafood supply chain to demonstrate their commitment to the responsible sourcing and handling of seafood. These will be fully integrated into operations during 2019. These milestones are what sets Peterhead port’s value differentiation apart, and why it is one of the pre-eminent fishing ports in Europe.

No voting is required – this category will be decided by a panel of industry judges.

Mevagissey

As the second-highest-grossing landing centre in Cornwall, second only to Newlyn, Mevagissey is a thriving port with a growing number of big boats, and more life and heart than seen in many other ports. As well as a well-kept quay, adequate fridge space and good crane and ice facilities, it’s the people that make Mevagissey so special. They are always on hand to ring a skipper if they think a vessel’s leg has gone wonky, or if an unexpected change in weather is making a berth unsafe. There is also an outstanding selection of young fishermen who have come up through family ranks, several of whom own and run their own trawlers/netters. A visit to the quay will show that while, in many ways, the industry seems to be in trouble, the sheer number of young fishermen here is evidence that the industry is alive and well in Mevagissey. These fishermen aren’t in it for the money; it’s in their blood, and in 30 years they will still be here, fighting for the life they chose.

No voting is required – this category will be decided by a panel of industry judges.

To see other category shortlists, click here

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