Over 210 exhibiting companies from 19 different countries will be exhibiting at Skipper Expo Int Aberdeen 2019 on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May

This will be the biggest Skipper Expo Int Aberdeen, highlighting the underlying optimism in Scottish fishing today. Sponsored by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the event will feature virtually every type of equipment and support service available to the commercial fishing sector.

The expo will be opened by Scottish fisheries secretary Fergus Ewing, who will then tour the exhibition hall, to see for himself the innovation that is the cornerstone of fishing today.

The line-up features 40 first-time exhibitors, ensuring that there will be plenty of new companies to interest visitors, and highlights will include the ever-popular seafood tasting stand, hosted by Box Pool Solutions, and safety demos from the RNLI.

Skipper Expo Int 2019

Exhibitors and invited guests can also look forward to the seafood buffet at the Douglas Hotel on the evening of Friday, 17 May, sponsored by Anderson Marine, Certas Energy, Commercial Oils, E2 Partnership, Peterhead Port Authority and Sunderland Marine.

Sharon Boyle of show organiser Mara Media said: “We are thrilled that there has been so much interest in Skipper Expo Int Aberdeen 2019. There is a real international flavour this year, including a good representation of shipyards, which is sure to interest Scottish skippers currently investing in new vessels.

“Skipper Expo Int Aberdeen 2019 promises to be a fantastic show, and we look forward to welcoming exhibitors and visitors to Scotland’s flagship fisheries event.”

Skipper Expo Int Aberdeen 2019 will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on 17 and 18 May. Opening times are 10am-6pm on Friday, 17 May and 10am-4pm on Saturday, 18 May. Entry is free, and to beat the queues, visitors can pre-register by visiting: bit.ly/2vuh2MI and then clicking the link for the visitor registration page.


ASAP Supplies Ltd AS SCAN Aberdeenshire Council Aderco Fuel Treatment
Anderson Marine Anderson Marine – Vessel Arklow Marine Services Armon Shipyards
ARS Anglian Diesels Ltd Astander Shipyard Aucxis Baatbygg As
Balenciaga Shipyard Barrus Ltd Beta Marine Blue Anchor Fire & Safety Ltd
BOPP Box Pool Solutions Ltd Bredgaard Boats Aps Brunvoll As
CA Clase UK Ltd Caithness Creels CC Jensen Ltd Certas Energy/Commercial Oils
Charity & Taylor Charles Cleghorn Ltd Costco Wholesale Cotesi
Craemer UK Ltd Crown Marine Seats Ltd Damen Shipyards Davidsons Ltd
Denholm Fish Selling Doosan (Watermota) DRAWM Du Pré Marine Ltd
Duo Tool Direct Ltd Duusgaard Coating Dychem E-Catch
Echomaster Marine EK Marine Ltd EKKÓ Trawl Doors EMYG Aqua
Engine Solutions Engines Plus Ltd Errigal Bay Euronete (UK) Ltd
Eyemouth Marine Faithlie Trawl Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd Fettes & Rankine Engineering Ltd
FF Skagen Fibras Industriales SA Finer Filters Finnie 4×4
Finning (UK) Ltd Finnøy Gear & Propeller As Fishevegn As Fishing Heritage Centre
Fishing News Fiskerforum Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners Furuno (UK) Ltd
G Smyth Boats Gael Force Group Global Empire Hydraulic Connections Gondan Shipbuilders
Grampian Powerclean Guy Cotten UK Ltd GW Containers Havfront As
Hercules Hydraulics Hirtshals Havn (Port of Hirtshals) Hirtshals Service Group Hook & Net
Hook Marine Icom UK Ltd Injector Door Inka Pallets
Isovent As Jackson Trawls JC Hydraulics Jens Berg Shipping
Karmøy Winch Karstensens Skibsværft KER Group Kingfisher Information
Kort Propulsion KT Nets Kynde & Toft Lerwick Port Authority
Lorrimar Macduff Diesels Macduff Shellfish (Scotland) Ltd Macduff Shipyards Ltd
MacGregor (GBR) Mackinnons MAIB Maloy Havneservice As
Måløy Maritime Group Måløy Radioforretning As Måløy Seafood As Mantsbrite Marine Electronics
Marine & Industrial Transmissions Ltd Marine Control Services A/S Marine Design International Marine Stewardship Council
Marine Supplies (International) Ltd Maritime & Coastguard Agency Marport Marship
Maver Boats McMinn Marine Medley Pots Mermaid Marine
MEST Shipyard Michigan Marine Propulsion Mitchell Power Systems MMG Welding
Mooney Boats Morgère Mullion Survival Technology Murphy Marine Services
Naval Consult As Nordjford Havn Iks Nordsøtrawl A/S Norsap UK
North Atlantic Fisheries College (NAFC) Notus Parkol Marine Engineering PBP Services
Pelagia As Peterhead Port Authority Polar Doors Port of Skagen
Ports of Scotland Yearbook Pronomar BV Proteum Ltd Pumptastic Ltd
QUIKSLING Ltd R&D Marine Reid Scallop Gear Riverdale Mills
RNLI Fishing Safety RNLI Fundraising RSM UK Tax and Accounting Ltd Savant Financial
Scandic Pelagic Scania Engines Scanmar Schoeller Allibert Ltd
Scottish Fisheries Museum Scottish Fishermen’s Federation Scrabster Harbour Trust Seafield Navigation
Seafish Industry Authority Seaglaze Marine Seakeeper Seaquest Systems
Selstad As Selva Marine Sentronik As Service Team Skagen
Shetland Islands Council Shetland Seafood Auctions (SSA) Shetland Seafood Quality Control (SSQC) Shetland Shellfish Management Order (SSMO)
Ship Building Asia Ltd Ships Electronic Services Sicor International SIRM UK
Skipskompetanse As Skipsteknisk As SL Power Sola-Cure
Solent Engineering Services Ltd Specialist Small Craft Stadpipe As Stadyard As
Sunderland Marine Swan Net-Gundry Ltd Teamac Marine Paints Tecmarine Ltd
The Fishermen’s Mission The Skipper – show organisers Thistle Marine Ltd Thyborøn Doors
Thyborøn Port Trefjar Ltd TT Oils Tyson’s Ships’ Riggers
Ulvesund Elektro As Verlo As Vestvaerftet Visserij Co-operative Urk
VMS Group Volvo Penta Vonin Wärtsilä
Westmek As Woodsons World Fishing & Aquaculture Yamaha Motor Europe NV
Yanmar Europe BV YC Europe Zamakona Yards Ziegra Ice Machines (UK) Ltd

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation

Anyone looking in over the past two years might think that the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), which is sponsoring Skipper Expo Int Aberdeen 2019, was entirely focused on Brexit. Of course, with the prospect of substantial additional catching opportunity outside the CFP, and therefore a much bigger industry trading greater volumes of fish and employing many thousands more people, the future has been at the forefront of our endeavours.

However, there is considerably more to the SFF than lobbying in the corridors of power for favourable policy outcomes.

The SFF is an umbrella organisation for the major associations that represent some 400 vessels, from inshore creel boats to pelagic trawlers, and the interests of the vast majority of Scottish fishermen: the Anglo-Scottish Fishermen’s Association, the Fife Fishermen’s Association, the Fishing Vessel Agents and Owners Association, the Mallaig and North West Fishermen’s Association, the Orkney Fisheries Association, the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, and the Shetland Fishermen’s Association.

As such, the SFF has a very democratic, bottom-up structure, with the impetus for what we do coming from wheelhouse and deck.

Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive.

Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive.

In addition to promoting the interests of our constituent associations, we aim to ensure a viable and sustainable future for the fleet in terms of both economics and environmental responsibility. We also work hard to improve the perception of the fishing industry, making sure its voice is heard everywhere, and correcting erroneous statements made about all aspects of fisheries.

The SFF plays a key role in helping to attract new entrants to the industry, and in ensuring that professional standards of training and safety are met.

New regulations covering the safety and welfare of fishermen, regardless of their employment status, were introduced in 2019.

They provide protection, and place responsibilities on all, from owners to deckhands. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has used the new regulations to support changes in health and safety, beginning with the requirement for fishermen on deck to wear a personal flotation device or use a lifeline. A boat can, through a documented risk assessment, be absolved of the requirement if the risk of falling overboard has been eliminated.

The new regulations cover many new aspects, such as medicals and the requirement for all fishermen to have working agreements. SFF safety officer Derek Cardno will welcome fishermen with any questions about how to comply with the new requirements to our stand at Skipper Expo.

On the policy front, representation of fisheries interests to the renewables industry has become a major issue over the past 10 years, as fishers’ perceptions of loss of grounds has increased. While society needs new energy sources, the production of sustainable fish protein should be protected for the future.

The SFF’s science policy branch, overseen by Elena Balestri, guarantees fishing industry involvement in a whole swathe of areas, from MPAs to strategies on birds and cetaceans, and manages industry interaction with Marine Scotland Policy and science institutes (ICES for stock assessments, Marine Scotland Science, and Aberdeen University). The focus is always on sustainability, for profitable fisheries and healthy stocks.

The policy branch established the Science Network, a forum for scientists employed by Scottish fishing industry associations to benefit from knowledge exchange and collaboration on scientific issues of shared interest, and from representation at meetings regarding the Scottish industry’s engagement with science.

The SFF also manages the IOOS (Independent Onboard Observer Scheme), which provides highly trained observers for every science/industry project that requires data collection onboard boats, and has been running for 11 years.

Phase VI of the IOOS commenced on 1 January, 2017, expanding and developing the previous phases, which were all supported by either the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) or the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the Scottish government.

Through managed deployment of a pool of six fisheries observers, and a project co-ordinator/data analyst, the project aims to:

  • Provide greatly enhanced data for stock assessment as part of the joint Marine Scotland Science/SFF Observer Scheme, as agreed by the Fisheries Management and Conservation group (FMAC)
  • Support industry-led initiatives such as the Gear Innovation and Technology Advisory Group (GITAG), with the aim of testing selective methods of fishing that help to address potential problems relating to the landing obligation (for whitefish and Nephrops fisheries)
  • Assist Marine Scotland Science in the collection of biological data on the industry/science demersal trawling survey of anglerfish (Lophius spp.)
  • Provide practical advice and support for science/industry projects that require direct observations at sea on commercial vessels (eg, commissioned under Fisheries Innovation Scotland or Fishing Industry Science Alliance)
  • Provide observer coverage and sampling for a scientific monitoring fishery for herring in ICES division VIa, VIIb and VIIc, as advised by ICES
  • Support for science/industry Clyde Inshore Demersal Survey
  • Maintain the flexibility to provide support to any industry/science-related project requiring a strong data backup.

An additional valuable input is the provision of information on data-deficient stocks to avoid the automatic reductions in total allowable catch for these stocks. Extended coverage from SFF contributes to a more robust dataset that can be used in several ways within the evolving ICES framework for assessing data-deficient stocks.

The Gear Innovation and Technology Advisory Group (GITAG) has now entered its final year, with the project due to end in December 2019. GITAG aims to address research and development gaps by working with key partners, including industry, Marine Scotland Policy, Marine Scotland Science, producer organisations and Seafish, to promote and encourage innovation from the fishing industry as a whole. Funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Scottish government, the project is led and managed by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s wholly owned subsidiary company SFF Services.

This year has started with four confirmed projects which are well-advanced, and one new proposal which is focusing on cod avoidance in the North Sea. A number of the confirmed projects have concentrated on issues on the west coast of Scotland as a result of the current situation regarding quotas and fishing opportunities. These projects are looking at the use of panels, modified separator nets, and skate and ray avoidance measures. In the North Sea, a four-panel codend will be trialled to assess its effect on levels of unwanted catch. The outcomes of these projects will be published once the charters are complete.

The GITAG project is an example of collaborative working between industry, science, policy and gear experts. Detailed information is collected using highly trained observers, which is then processed and analysed, resulting in an assessment of the gear’s performance. The completed summaries for each GITAG project are available at: sff.co.uk/gitag/

There is still an opportunity for industry to come forward with any further ideas they have to help them meet the challenges presented by the landing obligation. Further information can be found at the weblink above.

Major anniversary for Scottish Fisheries Museum

Scottish Fisheries Museum

Scottish Fisheries Museum

The Scottish Fisheries Museum is once again looking forward to participating in the Skipper Expo in Aberdeen this year. At its stand you can browse and buy from its selection of books and goods from the museum shop, and pick up one of the new 2019 museum leaflets.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum is now 50 years old, and July 2019 sees the start of the museum’s anniversary celebrations. It is planning a series of events to celebrate its anniversary, from summer 2019 to summer 2020. Drop by the stand to pick up a programme and find out what is happening over this year of celebration. There will be something to suit all tastes!

The museum is also preparing to welcome back its flagship, Reaper, after major restoration work at Babcock’s, Rosyth. Its return is scheduled for 4 July, when a flotilla of over 50 boats will escort Reaper back along the Forth to Anstruther, where an opening ceremony for the 50th anniversary and to celebrate Reaper’s return will commence with entertainment on the pier from 2-6pm. The museum would love to see as many boat enthusiasts there as possible, as this large flotilla will be a sight to behold; it really is an opportunity not to be missed.

Also launching on 4 July is the museum’s anniversary exhibition ‘Boats, Fish and Folk: 50 years of Scottish Fishing’, along with its very own special-edition St Ayles Ale. The exhibition will look at the past 50 years of the fishing industry, charting the changes to the fleets, the harbours, the livelihoods and the lives of those who work to put fish on our tables.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum team look forward to seeing everyone at the Skipper Expo 2019, and hope that many of you can join them in Anstruther during their celebration year.



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