Young Fisherman of the Year

Sponsored by Seafish

This category will reward a fisherman, under 25 years old and based in the UK or Ireland, who has made a clear commitment to their fishing industry. Skills, determination, leadership ability and adaptability to changes in today’s industry are all important qualities.

**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

William McKenzie, Lapwing PD 972

William started at sea at 16, as a young lad who couldn’t mend or splice, but with sheer determination he got stuck in and learned all the skills. He went up and sat his Class 2 ticket, and is now mate/relief skipper on the Peterhead pair-seiner Lapwing. There he has learned how to skipper a boat, manoeuvre a vessel when fishing, lead a crew, and make decisions on his own. He is very capable for someone so young, and is highly thought of by his crew and everyone who knows him in the industry.

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

Ross Sutherland, Arcturus LK 59

Ross is a hard grafter who left school and jumped straight in. He started two years ago as a yopper and quickly gained a full-time position on the Whalsay whitefish trawler Arcturus. Ross can often be seen working on the pier, repairing and maintaining trawl gear. He works independently, and very well as a team member with the rest of the crew, and is never without a smile. He has an old head on young shoulders, and is definitely the future of the industry.

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

Ben Bengey, Shelly N BD 319

Ben is an inspirational and enthusiastic young fisherman who is committed to the wider fishing community of Ilfracombe and North Devon. He started his training at 15, and has since worked on Compass Rose BD 78, Orca BD 77, Green Isle BD 80, Our Jenny BD 4, and then his own boats, Silver Spirit BD 319 and Shelly N BD 319. He has been involved in many projects promoting the industry, both in communities and nationally. Ben has been on the crew of Ilfracombe lifeboat for five years, and recently passed out as a navigator, and is now undergoing training as a helmsman and then coxswain.

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

Colm O’Brien, Aoibh Aine SO 160

Colm is a 24-year-old from a fishing family in the small coastal village of Magheraroarty, Co Donegal. Colm fished along with his father for a few years, until 2018, when this young fisherman bought his own crabber. Doing so was a huge achievement and a major step forward for a young man like Colm, who is highly committed to fishing, and therefore is exactly what the industry needs.

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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