Ian Gatt, the chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA), has been awarded a CBE in the King’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his work within the Scottish fishing industry.

He has spent his entire career in the fishing industry, working the first half as a skipper where he pioneered new techniques and technology in the large- vessel whitefish sector. He was at the forefront of opening new grounds on the Rockall Bank, which had never previously been worked by the Scottish fleet.

After coming ashore in 2010, Ian Gatt has held several key roles representing the Scottish industry. He has been chief executive of the SPFA for the last 14 years, and has served two terms as president of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF).

He is also chairman of the Scottish Fishermen’s Trust, a charity established by the SFF to support projects that benefit the fishing industry and the wider marine environment, deputy chairman of the Fishermen’s Mission and chairman of the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group.

Ian Gatt said: “I am honoured and humbled to be awarded a CBE, and I am fortunate during my career to have represented the interests of fishermen throughout Scotland. This award provides recognition of the importance of fishing to Scotland and the tremendous work of all its participants, both at sea and onshore.

“We must never forget that this industry provides sustainable, low-carbon, healthy protein to the people of this country. And we must never forget that too many fishermen have paid the ultimate price for putting fish and shellfish on our tables.”

Ian Gatt is descended from fishing families in Gardenstown on the Moray Firth. His grandmother on his mother’s side was one of the herring gutting ‘quines’ who followed the seasonal fishery down the east coast.

His family moved to Macduff when he was young, and he was educated at Banff Academy. He lived and worked in the area until 2005, when he moved to Inverurie.

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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