Young Fisherman of the Year
Sponsored by Seafish
This category will reward a fisherman, under 25 years old at the end of 2017 and based in the UK or Ireland, who has made a clear commitment to the fishing industry. Skills, determination, leadership ability and adaptability to changes in today’s industry are all important qualities.
*The result of this category will not be determined by public voting. Instead it will be determined by a panel of judges drawn from the fishing industry, using all supporting evidence provided through the nomination process.*
Josh Buchan, Josh Rose BF 22
Fourteen-year-old Josh has worked on creel boats since he was seven. He had an Islander 19 in 2015, and fished it in 2016, out of Banff. He was in the wheelhouse, along with a couple of adult crew, shooting and hauling creels. In the summer holidays, he was down landing the four boats his dad has shares in, and making rubber legs and doing jobs in the stores.
When down landing the four boats he always had three of his friends with him, not only landing, but marking out the market and boxing the boats. He shows tremendous commitment for his age.
Ryan Corbett, Sparkling Star UL 290
Ryan started as a deckie learner at 16 on his father’s boat Sparkling Star BCK29. By 18, he had completed his under-16.5m unrestricted skipper’s ticket and GMDSS general operator’s certificate. His first trip as skipper of the Sparkling Star soon followed.
In 2016, Ryan sat his Class 2 Mate’s Ticket, and was back in the wheelhouse in 2017, taking more of the boat, while his father oversaw the build of Sparkling Star UL290. Since the delivery of Sparkling Star UL290 in December 2017, Ryan has resumed his duties as skipper and continues to be very successful.
Dean Cowie, Reliant CY 799
Since he was three, Dean has been going out with his father in his shellfish boat. In 2016, his father had a hip replacement, and couldn’t work. Although Dean had worked on Reliant CY 799, he had never handled it on his own, but he took over and works 650 pots daily, weather permitting.
Dean taking over while his father is unable to fish, has saved the family business. He plays football for his local team, and he has had to miss matches to go to sea. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the local fishermen, who all say what a great job he’s doing.
Ben Irvine, Opportune LK 209
Ben enrolled on the Maritime Skills for Work scheme while still at school, followed, when he left, by the Seafish three-week Intro to Commercial Fishing course, where he stood out. Ben worked on local trawlers and continued with his studies, enrolling on the Modern Apprenticeship in Sea fishing.
As soon as possible, he returned to the NAFC to study for his Class 2 skipper’s ticket. He is currently working as mate on Opportune LK 209, and has just completed the Class 2 Fishing Ticket. He will now be sailing as second skipper on Opportune.
Haydn McLeod, Forever Faithful PD 289
At 16, Haydn started a 12-week trainee deckhand course, where he excelled and was offered a job with a standby company in Aberdeen. He realised he wanted to be fishing and left for a berth on a pair-trawler. His father invested in his own boat, and Haydn undertook his 16.5m licence, taking the boat on his own for six months.
He successfully undertook the Class 2 Deck CoC, when he was approached by Andrew West, skipper/owner of the Forever Faithful and offered a trial position as a relief skipper. Mr West is delighted with Haydn and the leadership qualities he shows. He now takes sole charge of a crew of five.
Jack Sanderson, Perseverance II H 11
Jack is 19 and works the hauler on the Bridlington crabber Perseverance ll. At nine, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, an extremely aggressive form of bone cancer. He lost his hair, his happiness, his childhood and half of his weight. The final blow came when he had to lose a leg. He never ever complained.
Jack works full-time on a rolling deck. He gets on with his job and is always eager to learn. He uses a prosthetic leg and works hard as a crew member, never letting his situation impact on his ability to work or do anything. He is an outstanding role model to others.
*Reminder: the result of this category will not be determined by public voting. Instead it will be determined by a panel of judges drawn from the fishing industry, using all supporting evidence provided through the nomination process.*
To see other category shortlists, click here