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 2019.

**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.**



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. During 2019 a new landing jetty was built, and the fish market continued to develop, seeing sales of £39.2m making it the largest fishing port in England and Wales. There were also major investments, including the introduction of the world’s first ever auction web-based clock; an 11-port fish grading machine – the first of its kind in the UK, allowing Brixham to grade fish to the same grades as European competitors and compete with them on an equal footing, and a new fish box washing machine, capable of washing and stacking more than 400 boxes an hour.
Future investment plans include additional storage facilities; additional market and office facilities; ongoing upgrades to berths. The long-term strategy is to not only look at continued developments for the fish market, but to develop the port by potentially providing a dry dock, and a Northern Arm to protect the harbour from bad weather.


Fraserburgh enjoyed a very busy 2019, with the largest turnover to date of £3.2m. Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners have continued to invest heavily in infrastructure to improve the services available to the fishing fleet, including the final phase of the ship-to-shore power provision project, which provides shore power and fresh water within easy access of all berths and improves the green credentials of Fraserburgh Harbour by allowing vessel engines to be switched off while in port. The shiplift has also undergone extensive refurbishment and improvements. The Fraserburgh Harbour Masterplan was completed in 2019 and work will be ongoing in 2020 to develop the business case for the refurbishment various projects.
Funding from North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG) allowed the Commissioners to commission access platforms for all berths at the shiplift, providing safer access to vessels for those working at the repair facilities. All of these projects have been instigated by the Commissioners with the intention of improving the facilities available to all port users and, in particular, the fishing sector, the core business of the port.


After completing a £52m upgrade to facilities in 2018, the port has turned its attention to attaining the highest standards of quality and sustainability. Having completed accreditations with MSC and BRCGS, the port was the first to be awarded the Responsible Fishing Ports Scheme. These quality standards were then complemented with the SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) ensuring compliance in Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics. Peterhead Ports’ 2020 vision demonstrates an ethos to be an environmentally responsible business reducing its carbon footprint and championing sustainability and renewable energy. These initiatives ensure that the port is positioned to serve future generations of fishermen.
Nominators said that the new fish market, and the maintenance around the harbour, make it second-to-none.


In a year of dramatic transition, Scalloway harbour continued to provide an extremely high level of service to the skippers and crews of local and visiting whitefish boats, even though the port’s previous fishmarket was totally demolished in the process of building a custom-designed £3m facility in the same area. In a seamless transition, a temporary chilled and insulated fishmarket was created inside an existing warehouse, which delivered in all aspects during a year in which whitefish landings at Scalloway exceeded £15m. Continuing to provide ‘service as usual’ in a very unusual and challenging situation represents a unique and largescale achievement by all associated with Scalloway harbour.


Scrabster Harbour has invested over the years and built up a huge reputation for great service 24/7. When the local ice factory closed, Scrabster Harbour Trust was quick to apply for funding and build a brand-new ice facility for the boats, which took eight months from start to finish. Scrabster is also situated at a dangerous shipping channel, the Pentland Firth, and all the employees of the harbour know the answers about how to navigate this. Scrabster harbour has never forgotten its fishing roots and whenever you come into land someone from the harbour is there to catch your ropes. Scrabster has also lowered its dues, showing commitment to the fishermen using the harbour.

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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