Nearly 250 guests attended the presentation evening for the Fishing News Awards 2018, which was held in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Aberdeen Treetops on Thursday, 24 May

The audience represented all sectors of the fishing industry, including fishermen and their families, boatbuilders/designers, equipment suppliers, fisheries scientists, ports, processors, service companies and training colleges. Finalists and their guests, from as far apart as Cornwall and Shetland, were able to meet and socialise with friends and colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere – one of the features of what was universally judged to be an extremely enjoyable and successful evening.

Sponsored by Box Pool Solutions, Coast, The Fishmongers’ Company, Peterhead Port Authority, Seafish, Sunderland Marine and Acceleris, the Fishing News Awards 2018 presentations celebrated the achievements and positive developments that the industry continues to deliver, but which all too often don’t receive the recognition they deserve.

The 13 categories of awards presented during the evening included two sets of joint winners and two Special Achievement Awards, reflecting the extremely high standard of commitment, dedication and professionalism that characterised each finalist, all of whom paid tribute to the achievements of their fellow nominees.

During the course of the seafood meal, for which the ingredients were supplied by AGD Duff Ltd of Aberdeen, in conjunction with Amity Fish and the Scottish Seafood Association, guests generously donated £2,500 to support the invaluable work of the Fishermen’s Mission. The Mission was represented on the night by CEO David Dickens, and partnerships manager Dean Lawrence, together with North East Scotland superintendents Miriam Kemp, Steve Murray and Kenny Brandie.

Featured Images (above):

  • The finalists together on stage at the end of an evening in which the overall winner was clearly the UK fishing industry in its entirety.
  • The main function room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Aberdeen Treetops, ready to receive nearly 250 guests who attended the Fishing News Awards 2018 presentation evening.
  • Paul, Pauline and Hayden Duff and Ashleigh Hall of AGD Duff and Partners, which supplied the MSC-accredited North Sea haddock and cod for the meal.

Awards Host Fred MacAulay

Host Fred MacAulay.

Host Fred MacAulay.

The well-known Scottish comedian Fred MacAulay entertained guests for 20 minutes with a series of quick-fire jokes delivered in his own unique style. These were well received by guests and elicited continuous laughter from the audience.

Fred MacAulay contributed further humour during the awards presentation by adding asides at every opportunity, to ensure that the presentations were conducted in a lively manner.

Later in the evening, he was receptive to requests for selfies from guests, while socialising freely.

Of the honours, Fred said: “The fishing industry is buffeted by political issues at the moment, but away from that, the focus should be on the men and women who work long hours in extremely challenging conditions.

“These awards are an essential celebration of their efforts to put healthy, sustainable food on our tables all year round.”


Welcome Address

Welcoming guests to the Fishing News Awards 2018, Kelsey Media publisher Pat Eggington said: “As you all know, these awards are designed to celebrate the achievements, innovations and successes of the UK and Irish commercial fishing industries through 2017.

“They’re also an opportunity to catch up with one another, and to compare notes on what the year has brought us. This time last year, I looked back on 2016 as a year of significant decisions, bringing with them a large degree of hope for the UK fishing industry, but also more than a little uncertainty.

“Well, it has to be said that by the end of 2017, the uncertainty’s still very much there, and is now accompanied by a degree of unease as to how things might play out.

Pat Eggington.

Pat Eggington.

“That’s why evenings like this one are important. They encourage us to look to the positive, to shine a spotlight on stand-out examples of what’s good about this industry, and the individuals within it. They give us a positive story to take to the wider public, to reinforce the message that this industry is always striving to move forwards, and is peopled by individuals who can succeed – often literally – in all weathers.

“And we know that the people who will be on stage tonight are very much representative of many others who have also achieved similar things, and gone to great lengths – more often than not, unheralded and in perilous conditions – to get food onto people’s tables.

“So we’ll be doing our best – with help from our communications partner Acceleris – to spread this message as far as we can, so that the wider public can properly appreciate the commitment, determination and expertise that it takes to produce what many people take for granted – high-quality fish and seafood, caught in sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

“I’m pleased to say that this year’s awards have once again seen growth in both the number of people nominated for awards, and the number of votes received within our voting categories.

“We are pleased to see that the awards are, as usual, geographically representative of the industry as a whole – as the range of people and organisations on stage tonight indicates. We also strive to cover as many aspects of commercial fishing as possible, and, for this year, many of you will have noticed that we have two new categories: the Trainee Fisherman of the Year Award, which will recognise the most outstanding new entrant of 2017; and the Sustainability Award, which will recognise outstanding innovations and achievements that improve sustainability and environmental responsibility within our industry.”

David Linkie

“Sincere thanks to Fishing News readers for supporting the 2018 Awards to the extent they did, to the sponsors and to everyone who contributed to the evening.

David Linkie.

David Linkie.

“The strength of the nominations received this year was extremely high, and testimony to the dedication and professionalism of the finalists, who collectively represent the full spectrum of experience and geographical location across the UK.

“It is particularly encouraging that a large number of shortlisted nominees attended the awards evening, many of whom gave up valuable fishing time and travelled long distances.

“Congratulations to the winners, and special thanks to all the finalists for taking the awards in the spirit they are meant – as a celebration of the achievements of the UK fishing industry as a united team effort.

“It is extremely encouraging to see that the fishing industry is now reaping the benefits of a wide range of pioneering initiatives voluntarily put in place more than 10 years ago, both in terms of catching and processing.

“Confidence in the long-term future of fishing in some areas of the UK is at the highest level most in the industry have experienced in their lifetime. The number of new vessels now on order is at an all-time high. Similar high levels of reinvestment are being seen onshore, with new harbour facilities and fishmarkets, at the same time as service companies and processors engage in farsighted developments.

“The annual Fishing News Awards evening recognises the efforts and commitment that everyone in the UK contributes to the overall team effort.”

£2,500 raised for Fishermen’s Mission

Guests attending the Fishing News Awards 2018 dinner participated in a prize draw to raise funds for the Fishermen’s Mission.

When the donations placed in tumblers left on the tables were quickly added up, Fred MacAulay’s announcement that the draw had generated £2,500, before Fishermen’s Mission CEO David Dickens received a presentation cheque from David Linkie, was deservedly and warmly applauded by everyone in the room.

David Dickens then proceeded to draw five winners’ names out of a fish basket. The first prize of a complimentary night’s bed and breakfast for two, generously donated by the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Aberdeen Treetops, was won by young Molly Ladd.

Brunch for two, again donated by the hotel, went to Jenny Price from Bridlington.

Having accompanied his daughter Molly onto the stage, Ryan Ladd made a quick return to collect a bottle of whisky donated by Fishing News.

Two more winners, Shannon Buchan of Banff and Kinlochbervie skipper James Corbett, returned home with Fishing News hoodies.

David Dickens expressed his heartfelt appreciation to Fishing News and Kelsey Media for promoting the Fishermen’s Mission, and for the generosity shown by guests in contributing towards a fantastic total. He said that the money raised will all be used for front-line services by the three centres, which together cover more than 400 miles of coastline from Inverness to Pittenweem.


What people said…


“I would thank everyone who voted for me. I was surprised, honoured and humbled to be nominated and win the award. We have so many excellent skippers in the demersal fleet in the UK. The way they look after their boats, crews and catches, I’m sure a lot of them equally deserved to win this award, which reflects our industry in a good light.

“I thought the Fishing News Awards night was an excellent event: a total celebration of all that is good about the fishing industry. Congratulations to all the other winners.”


“What a pleasant and uplifting surprise for everyone at the Port of Peterhead to receive this award and recognition. We fully appreciate that it’s not just about the ‘metrics’ of volume and value of fish, but the overall service to the fishing industry throughout the year. I must admit it has not been an easy task to maintain the terrific results at Peterhead Fish Market (all thanks to our fishermen and processors), but our staff have all risen to the challenge as we complete the largest civil engineering works in our recent history, doubling the depth of the inner harbours and doubling the size of the fishmarket. We had seven different areas of development underway at the same time around the harbour but, by working together, the skippers and harbour master simply did a wonderful job. Thank you Fishing News and the voting panel, this award is sincerely appreciated.”


“I came to the Fishing News Awards not expecting to win, but for the experience of being there. A lot of folk said it was a brilliant get-together for everyone involved within the fishing industry, and they were right! When they said my name, I was chuffed to win. I’d like to say a big thanks to everybody!”



“I am honoured to have been nominated, and delighted to be joint winner of Demersal Fisherman of the Year. A lot of thanks for this award goes to Andrew and James Pascoe, the owners of Ajax PZ 36, and my crew, as this award, like all others on the night, is very much a team effort.

“It was also extremely satisfying to be a finalist in the new Sustainability Award. Again this is very much a united effort, as it reflects the excellent work that the Cornish FPO, along with other hake skippers like myself, have put into our MSC Cornish Hake fishery.

“I was particularly delighted to see young fishermen and trainees receiving awards for their work aboard vessels in the early stages of their careers. Without young blood we would not have an industry to look forward to when the more experienced hands step ashore. We need more of these young men coming into the industry, so it was particularly pleasing to see that this vitally important aspect of the industry was recognised by the Fishing News Awards, as well as to witness at first-hand the enthusiasm and knowledge of the next generation. Well done lads.”


“I was so surprised to even be nominated for Shellfish Fisherman of the Year, but to win was just fantastic.

“I really feel fishermen are the key to a successful future for our industry. We need to get involved in any way we can in shaping that future. I am chairman of Fishing into the Future and vice-chair of South Devon and Channel Shellfishermen.

“I know many other fishermen who work hard behind the scenes to improve and promote our industries, and for us to receive some recognition for what we all do through the Fishing News Awards is invaluable and shows great support and encouragement.

“I would like to say thank you to all the people who make these awards possible.”


“I am delighted to have been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Thank you.

“Fishing News has been part of my life for 50 years, so this award means a lot, not only to me, but also my family and our team at Whitby, many of whom have given many years of dedicated service. This experience is now being used to guide the new people coming through, to ensure that business continuity continues to be delivered.

“To me, the Fishing News Awards are simply an extension of Fishing News which, when it is delivered, is always a high point of the week. Now in its 105th year, the paper is as important today as it ever has been. In the age of devolved governments, Fishing News provides the only means of balanced information about what the respective governments are planning and doing in relation to the fishing industry.

“The Fishing News Awards provide a fantastic opportunity to recognise achievements based on sheer hard work and to build the profile of our industry. Positive acknowledgement of successes has been in very short supply since the largescale decommission schemes of 2002/2004, so the awards are very welcome and needed, and should be fully supported by all in our industry going forward.

“At last the industry is in a position to build new vessels that will be at the heart of the catching and processing sectors for the future. This represents a massive turn around. Similarly, MSC accreditation is increasingly coming into play, which is again great news, as deservedly recognised by the Fishing News Awards.

“My lifetime in the industry has always been challenging and never dull. Thirty years ago, the late Whitby skipper, Jim Leadley MBE, effectively hi-jacked me into the NFFO, where I had my first experience of fishing politics. It is hugely important to get our voice across, both in London and Brussels, as there is always a battle to be fought, eg stocks, mesh sizes, quotas and now Brexit.

“I will always be very proud to have twice been elected as NFFO chairman and president, as I am for being closely involved in establishing the Whitby and District Fishing Training School.”


“I had a fantastic night, the meal was lovely and the host was extremely funny. When they announced the winners of the Young Fisherman of the Year category, I can’t put into words the feeling I got. I was totally overwhelmed. It’s going to be a memorable highlight in my career for the rest of my life.

“You think that the effort you put into the fishing industry goes unseen, but this really let me see that that couldn’t be further from the truth. I hope my winning inspires other young fisherman to keep working hard in the industry, because it is recognised.”


“We were absolutely delighted to be awarded the title of Coastal Fish Restaurant of the Year, and thank Fishing News and Coast magazine for organising and sponsoring the award.

“It was particularly gratifying to achieve this award by public vote, when up against some excellent nominated restaurants, following the traumatic events of 2017, so thank you also to those who voted for us.”



“We are absolutely delighted and overwhelmed to be Independent Fresh Fish Retailer of the Year. When we first set up, our goal was simple – to not be the ghosts of the sea any more! Well, we have certainly achieved that, and we now have a huge fantastic community, that supports us every step of the way. Thank you to everyone who voted.

“It’s great to have the Fishing News Awards. Everyone works so hard in this industry, and it’s nice to be able to let your hair down and celebrate what we have. I, for one, am so proud of each and every one who works in the fishing industry, and it’s a fantastic night to catch up with amazing people!”


“It means a lot to me that the work that fishermen do day in, day out, to provide for people is recognised, and it’s a really proud feeling to be able to do so and get recognised for it.”





“On behalf of the guests, I would like to say a short few words of thanks.

“The evening has been a great celebration of the best the UK fishing industry has to offer, as well as the commitment of many.

“It is also about the investment in vessels and ports for the future. The winners are all those who remained and want to be in this industry, from Cornwall to Shetland and from Yorkshire to Northern Ireland. Regardless of your individual roles, we are all winners. Our industry has a great good-news story to tell, so let’s be proud of what we are achieving. Award evenings like this are great occasions, which we deserve to enjoy, not least because it helps deliver a positive message to the general public.

Jimmy Buchan

“MSC has been a very good tool for selling fish. Until fairly recently, fishermen did not always see or understand the importance of marketing. In just a relatively short time, we have come a long way, as shown by the fact that we now have many species holding MSC accreditation, with more being added to the list each year. This demonstrates high levels of commitment, from catching right through the supply chain. This helps the processing sector to compete in the global market – all of which would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.

“It should also be recognised that a lot of hard work and time went into organising tonight, which has been one to remember, thanks in no small part to Fred MacAulay, so sincere thanks to the Fishing News Awards crew.

“Clearly, the Fishing News Awards is an extension of Fishing News, which has now served the industry loyally for 105 years. Two stalwarts of Fishing News, Tim and Dave, who we all know well, have clocked up 75 years of service between them, and we applaud the work they have done and continue to do diligently each week.

“The industry needs Fishing News, not least because Jim ’n Alec can always be relied upon to lift the spirits on particularly challenging days, which as we know only too well, are not uncommon.”

Outstanding Contribution Award to Kenny MacNab

Former Tarbert fisherman Kenny MacNab, who is well known to many in the fishing industry and was a shortlisted finalist in the Lifetime Achievement category sponsored by Fishing News, was presented with an Outstanding Contribution Award.

A former Tarbert skipper, Kenny is chairman of Clyde Fishermen’s Association, and more recently, he was instrumental in the setting up of the Clyde Fishermen’s Trust. Using his lifetime’s knowledge of the fishing industry, Kenny works tirelessly for the coastal communities and fishermen he represents.

Kenny MacNab is presented with an Outstanding Contribution Award by Fishing News editor David Linkie and Fred MacAulay.

Sadly, he had to prove just what a tower of strength he is to the fishing communities of the Clyde, when two Tarbert fishermen lost their lives in the Nancy Glen tragedy in January of this year. He gave every spare moment to do all he could to look after the families and liaise with the rescue and recovery teams.

A great supporter of the Fishermen’s Mission, Kenny also raises a lot of money for this charity, as well as for local centres on the Clyde.

Kenny said: “I feel very humble and honoured to be given an award in recognition of my contribution to the UK fishing industry. The past few months have been very hard for me and the whole Clyde Community, but the strength and resilience shown by all affected by the Nancy Glen tragedy is the kind of spirit we will need nationwide in our industry over the next few years. I would like my continuing contribution to the fishing industry to be an appeal for a concerted approach from all sectors to the problems we will be facing.”


Fishing News Award Sponsors


“Peterhead Port Authority, as sponsor of the Demersal Fisherman of the Year, is honoured to be associated with this award and all those under consideration. Anyone who obtains their living from departing through the ‘pier heads’ is clearly worthy of all our respect and admiration. The list of nominated candidates is a very difficult task to draw up, and congratulations to all of them who made it. Well done to co-winner, skipper Alan Dwan, but I am particularly pleased that this year’s award went to a ‘home-grown’ talent, who is immensely respected throughout the industry. Peter Bruce, skipper of the Budding Rose PD 418, epitomises the qualities of leadership, integrity and sound judgement which are in high demand in these fast-changing times. We at PPA have watched him develop his professional acumen and carve a path through the clutter of red tape, providing logical leadership that the industry can rely upon. Well done Peter (and Catherine), we salute this recognition of all your efforts, which we hope are a ‘work in progress’ for many years to come.”


“Sunderland Marine was delighted to sponsor the Trainee Fisherman of the Year at the 2018 Fishing News Awards, and reflects our commitment to ensuring that life on-board is as safe as possible, and the wellbeing of the crew is of utmost importance. The quality of the entries was excellent, and we wish them all success in their careers in the fishing industry.”




Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish, sponsor of the Young Fisherman of the Year Award, said: “This award raises the profile of the young people who are eagerly carving a career in the fishing industry. The commitment and enthusiasm shown by the six finalists shows how exciting a career in fishing is, with training available to support almost all fishing career paths. Ryan and Haydn are both smashing young men and excellent role models, to whom we wish all the best in the future.”


“Box Pool Solutions is a company that has an unrivalled commitment to customers and the seafood sector. Our new state-of-the-art facility in Peterhead is timely, and will help us meet the needs and demands of our modern, committed and thriving catching sector. Fishermen remain the last of the new-world hunters. Their dedication in pushing the boundaries of innovation in the most dangerous of professions demands that we hold them in the utmost admiration. Our continued commitment to the Fishing News Awards is in support of these unique characteristics, and the men who go to the sea in ships.”


“The Fishmongers’ Company was a proud sponsor of the inaugural Sustainability Award at this year’s Fishing News Awards. The award recognises and celebrates the exceptional achievements of those working to embed sustainable and responsible fishing practices into the UK fishing industry.

“The timing of the award aptly reflects the momentous steps taken by the industry in recent years to address environmental concerns, and highlights a growing partnership between conservationists and fishermen to build a healthy marine ecosystem. We hope that the 2018 awards will help to set a precedent for years to come.”




Fishing News Awards 2018 winners


Sponsored by Peterhead Port Authority

Joint winners

Peter Bruce Budding Rose PD 418

Alan Dwan Ajax PZ 36


Davie Hutchison Charisma LK 362


James Spencer

Sylvia Bowers DS 8 (Mobile gear)

Alan Steer

Superb Us DH 99 (Static gear)


Flatfish Ltd



Fresh from the Boat



Sponsored by The Fishmongers’ Company

Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group

North Sea Cod MSC Accreditation


Sponsored by Coast

The Magpie Café Whitby


Sponsored by Box Pool Solutions Ltd

Philip Reid – Selective net grid

Amity II PD 177


Sponsored by Sunderland Marine

Lee Odie Shetland


Voyager N 905

Owners: Arnold and Robert McCullough, Kilkeel

Designers: SALT Ship Design A/S

Boatbuilders: Karstensens Shipyard




Sponsored by Seafish

Joint winners

Haydn McLeod Forever Faithful PD 289

Ryan Corbett Sparkling Star UL 290


Jack Sanderson Perseverance II H 11


Sponsored by Fishing News

Arnold Locker Whitby


Kenny MacNab Tarbert


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