Paul Gilson, a longstanding member of the NFFO’s executive committee and vice-chairman of its South East committee, who has also been chairman of Leigh and Southend Fishermen’s Association for many years, has been elected as the next chairman of the federation.

The NFFO chairman is appointed for two years, before usually being elevated to the president’s role.

Cornish fisherman Andrew Pascoe will continue as NFFO president, and chaired the federation’s AGM last week.

Paul Gilson comes from a family that has fished the Thames estuary and southern North Sea for over 200 years. He has owned and fished seven trawlers, and currently has another vessel under construction. With 30 years as a lifeboatman, including 20 as senior helmsman, he has received numerous awards.

NFFO chief executive Barrie Deas said: “One of the strengths of the NFFO is the pool of diverse talent around our table that we can draw on to support our work.

“Paul recognises this, and has personally made an enormous contribution as vice-chairman of the NFFO’s South East committee. I have no doubt that he will make a similar contribution as chair of our executive committee.

“Given the pressures facing our industry, this is a very demanding time to lead the national federation, but as well as his direct fishing experience, Paul brings with him a wealth of knowledge based on his time as local councillor and chairman of his local town council.

“His time spent as vice-chairman of the Kent and Essex Sea Fisheries Committee will also provide valuable experience.”

Paul Gilson said: “I would especially like to thank Tony Delahunty and Andrew Pascoe who have been acting as co-chairs following the regrettable departure of former chairman Andrew Locker, who was obliged to seek employment outside the industry. It is comforting to know that I can turn to them for guidance at any time.

“Although I have my roots in the inshore sector, like others in the NFFO, I appreciate the importance of a diverse and profitable fleet in the UK, embracing all sizes of vessel and sustainable methods of fishing.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.

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