Trainee Fisherman of the Year

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This award will recognise the most outstanding new entrant to complete a commercial fishing training course in 2019. In particular, candidates will demonstrate consistently high levels of application, commitment, co-operation, determination, understanding of the fishing industry, practical skills and safety awareness.


Campbell Hunter, Guiding Light LK 84

Campbell was brought up in Scalloway, where his family was mainly involved in the fish buying and processing industry. Campbell decided his future lay in the fish catching sector, and he has shown a real drive in pursuing his career as a fisherman. At school Campbell enrolled on the ‘Maritime Skills for Work’ course at the NAFC Marine Centre and successfully gained five SQA units relating to maritime activities. When he left school, Campbell enrolled on the ‘Seafish Intro to Commercial Fishing’ course at the NAFC, where he showed dedication to the studies and real enthusiasm towards the practical activities. Campbell gained a berth on the Shetland trawler Guiding Light where he is making good progress. Recognising the benefits of training Campbell enrolled himself on the ‘Seafish Safety Awareness’ course as soon as he was eligible and, keen to take advantage of more training, then enrolled on the ‘Modern Apprenticeship (Sea Fishing)’. During this training he has gained safe working practices, marine industry knowledge, seamanship skills, gained a VHF Certificate and undertaken a high level of net mending. Part of his training included his class making a complete rockhopper trawl net from scratch, something few fishermen have had the opportunity to do. Campbell has been keen to pursue the training offered to young fishermen in Shetland, recognising the value it adds to himself as a crewmember and its contribution to safety in the industry.

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Matthew Nicol, Steadfast Hope BF 340

Matthew attended the Scottish Maritime Academy at NESCOl, during his fourth year at Fraserburgh Academy, which involved long travelling hours. He also attended the college when his school was closed for in-service days and holidays. During this time, he successfully completed the ‘Maritime Skills for Work’ programme, which includes the three-day ‘Intro to Commercial Fishing’ course and all mandatory Seafish certification. Matthew showed particular interest in the fishing components of the programme but was also keen to gain as much knowledge as possible in all areas, especially practical tasks such as mending and splicing. After successfully completing the National 5 Skills for Work, along with the mandatory courses needed to work on a fishing vessel, Matthew left school at 16 going straight aboard his family vessel Steadfast Hope BF 340. In a short space of time Matthew has become a core member of the crew and is getting involved in responsible tasks such as being in care of the catch – selecting, washing and stowing the catch, having responsibility in the fish-room which ultimately results in the overall pay for all the crew. His skipper has said that Matthew has been paired with other crew members on watchkeeping duties where he has learned how to use and understand the navigation equipment and net monitoring sensors and hopes in the near future to undertake the Seafish five-day watchkeeping course. If Matthew continues in his proactive approach to the fishing industry, there will definitely be a bright future ahead of him.

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Reece Taylor, Westro PD 20

At just 18, Reece been aboard FV Westro since it was finished in January 2019. Before that, he had just over a year’s experience at sea but didn’t feel that he had learned much during that time. Since being onboard Westro, he has been determined to show everyone what he can accomplish, by learning as much as he can and doing everything efficiently, to a high standard and, most importantly, safely. Reece is the winch man, fishroom man, deck boss and cook. He is also getting very comfortable working with the nets and is starting to learn more about the engine room. He hopes to do his ticket as soon as possible and maybe one day to skipper a boat.
Through the North East Fishermen’s Training Association in Fraserburgh, Reece has passed the Seafish basic sea survival, basic firefighting and prevention, basic health and safety, basic first aid, safety awareness, and his ENG medical 1 twice! Once in Peterhead and again in Aberdeen.

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