The Fishing News Awards 2023
Two hundred and fifty guests attended the gala presentation evening for the Fishing News Awards 2023 to celebrate the achievements and innovations of people, companies and organisations across the UK and Irish fishing industry
We are delighted to present the winners of the Fishing News Awards 2023.
We weren’t sure of the response the awards would receive when we returned as a live event in 2022 after the Covid hiatus, but last year’s event was a great success. This year we’ve seen even bigger participation in the awards, with a record number of people making nominations and placing votes.
The Fishing News Awards celebrate all aspects of an industry that draws its strength from the collective achievements of its many parts – fishermen, boatbuilders, service companies, ports, processors, retailers, and more.
The unprecedented level of voting this year demonstrates a level of engagement that shows we are a real community, rather than a disparate group of private businesses working in isolation.
The voting continues to be driven by enthusiastic support for the most important part of our industry – the young fishermen and trainees. This has been wonderful to see.
We’re especially grateful for the support again provided to our young finalists by Sunderland Marine and Fishing into the Future, which enabled many of them to attend the awards night in Aberdeen. And as one of last year’s young winners said, this will hopefully not be the last time we welcome them – we look forward to seeing them in future years as finalists in other categories.
This year, for the first time, Boat of the Year was decided not by a popular vote, but by an expert panel drawn from across the world of naval architecture, safety certification and engineering. We’re very grateful to the panel, chaired by SFF safety officer Derek Cardno, who judged the vessels on a range of criteria including vessel safety, crew comfort, care of the catch and fuel efficiency.
Their expertise makes this award an even more prestigious accolade for a new build, and highlights the vision, innovation and engineering expertise that continues to make the fleet safer, more efficient and a better workplace.
But as ever, celebrations are tempered by memories of those whose lives have been cut short, both at sea and ashore. Sadly, despite huge advances in our safety culture, we are reminded all too often of the true price of fish, paid not just in lives lost at sea, but by families left to cope without loved ones and breadwinners. That price, increasingly, is also being paid ashore, with many fishermen suffering under a combination of financial and mental pressures.
We were therefore very pleased to once again welcome the Fishermen’s Mission as our designated charity for these awards.
Our grateful thanks go to everyone who helped to make this year’s awards possible, and particularly to our sponsors: the Fishing Industry Safety Group, the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust, Peterhead Port Authority, the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Seafish and Sunderland Marine.
Our thanks, too, go to Seafood Scotland, which not only provided the rich variety of quality seafood for the evening’s meal, but worked closely with the chefs at The Chester Hotel to create a bespoke menu. Thank you to everyone who took the time to make nominations and place votes in this year’s awards, and to all the shortlisted candidates for taking part. Our congratulations go to all of this year’s winners – and also to the many very deserving runners-up.
In a community that for much of the year is spread so far apart, the Fishing News Awards once again provided a great opportunity to meet up with friends old and new, and celebrate all that is good about our industry.
Check out some images from this year’s event below…