Shellfish Fisherman of the Year

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

Shortlist

Jamie Clarke, Osprey BA 4

Jamie has rapidly worked his way up to skipper after displaying great leadership abilities, through exemplary work ethic, care of the catch and undertaking of extra responsibilities, and is one of the best queenie skippers in the fleet. He is wholly committed to sustainability, spearheading a modern outlook through the latest thinking, dedication, and sharing acquired knowledge with colleagues. His positive can-do attitude and old-school morals have set him in good stead for becoming a powerhouse in his chosen sector. Hardworking, conscientious, talented skippers like Jamie are needed to modernise the industry and to inspire the next generation.

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Alasdair Maclean, Dawn Treader OB 461

Alasdair ‘Steptoe’ Maclean has been a prawn creel fisherman for at least 40 years, and has seen many changes since he started, but still loves it as much as ever. Dawn Treader is his pride and joy, and it is a longstanding joke that he’s often seen or heard at the pier at 4am. Alasdair is generous with his time and knowledge, and helps people out, but doesn’t think he’s special; he’s just doing his job, and helping to promote a positive image of the industry. Alasdair hopes that one day his grandson Rio will take over from him as skipper of Dawn Treader.

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Andrew Stevens, Benediction FH 623

After a long and varied fishing career, Andrew now fishes single-handed, targeting lobster around Newlyn and Mousehole. His daily catches of shellfish, including lobsters and spider crab, go directly to The Fish Shop in Camberley, Surrey. He has been an inspiration to other young fishermen who now follow his model and sell their catch directly to the end user. He helped to reinstate a direct rail link with fish wholesalers in London, works with the Newlyn Lobster Hatchery, has worked closely with CEFAS to help further research, and is a volunteer with Penlee lifeboat.

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Ryan Stevenson, Lady Isle N 264

Ryan started at 16 on his own 16ft creel and mackerel boat from Kilkeel, and worked his way up to a 12m steel scalloper that he bought last year, aged 23. He works off the west coast, from Scotland down to Land’s End, and off Dieppe. He doesn’t follow the crowd, but decides where he wants to go, and sets off – often to places he’s never been before – in an effort to expand his fishing practice and experience. Ryan has shown commitment throughout his fishing career as a skipper/owner, staying away from home for long periods. He is very skilful at his job and is a well-liked and respected skipper all along the coast.

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Dominic Welsh, J-Sea E 333

Dominic left school at 14, but was determined to own his own boat one day. He sat for his skipper’s ticket at 21, and became one of the youngest skippers in the country. He started with a small Orkney longliner, and through sheer hard work and gritty determination, at 28, he now owns the scallopers J-Sea and Autumn J. He shows excellent leadership skills, determination and 100% commitment to scallop fishing. Dominic strongly believes that we must encourage and support youngsters who are interested in fishing as a career, as this is key to its future survival.

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To see other category shortlists, click here

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