A training course designed to encourage and enable a new generation of young fishermen in the Clyde is celebrating the success of its four most recent graduates.

The course, run by the Clyde Fishermen’s Trust (CFT) working in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council, the Fishing Industry Training Association (FITA) and Seafish, covered a range of topics, including net mending, navigation, sea survival, firefighting and health and safety.

Delivered as part of the Scottish government’s Young Person’s Guarantee initiative, the three-week course also saw the young fishermen, Joe Osborn, Sorley Self, Archie McNaughton and Cameron MacVicar, complete their mandatory certificates.

FITA trainer Lachie Paterson said: “The overall intention was that they get a basic understanding of the industry, but importantly they’ve got those certificates – and that in itself shows a willingness to be a wee bit forward-thinking.”

Course graduate Joe Osborn told Fishing News: “I feel like I learned a lot of skills due to Lachie’s endless patience and willingness to help young people. I struggled most with navigation and net mending, but really enjoyed the first aid and other practical elements.”

The CFT says that each participant is also provided additional support in helping them to secure a funded four- week boat placement at the end of the course to give them ‘the additional hands-on experience needed to pursue a career at sea’.

“I did the course so I could legally and safely fish with Dougie Chirnside [see page 13]. For the foreseeable future I’ll be working with him,” said Joe Osborn.

“Sorley Self and I have just made up all of Dougie’s fleets using our splicing skills. We hauled the first ones today.”

The trust says that through the initiative it hopes to ‘address some of the current issues facing the industry, carve a path for a prosperous future, and safeguard the Clyde’s unique fishing culture and heritage’.

Elaine Whyte, CEO of Clyde Fishermen’s Trust, said: “The Clyde fishing industry has faced a multitude of pressures in recent years, and we are dedicated to addressing these challenges head-on.

“One critical issue is depopulation and lack of access to trained crew, coupled with an ageing population. On the other hand, we see a passionate younger generation eager to enter the industry, but struggling to access training and afford the associated costs.

“Over the past two years, we have successfully secured funding to support numerous young people through the New Entrants training course, providing them with the additional support and financial assistance needed to allow them to pursue a fulfilling career at sea.”

More information on the CFT training course is available here.

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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