More New Fishermen for Shetland

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The new fishermen take their net-mending into the sun. Back row (L–R): Theo Polson (Whalsay); Magnus Polson (Whalsay); Sam Jamieson (Unst); Reece Hughson (Yell); Luke Kaye (Whalsay). Front row (L–R): Mark Fullerton (NAFC); Brandon Lowe (Bressay); Campbell Hunter (Lerwick); Hamish Stalker (Whiteness); Jack Garrick (Voe); Ivan Anderson (Skerries)

Ten new young fishermen will complete their initial training at the NAFC Marine Centre UHI in Scalloway this week as they join the local fishing industry.

The 10 have been undertaking NAFC's three-week long Introduction to Commercial Fishing course for persons wanting to begin a career in the fishing industry. The course, which is funded by Seafish, provides new entrants with a basic knowledge and awareness of the activities that take place on commercial fishing boats, from navigation to care of the catch, and also includes four mandatory safety courses which are legally required by all fisherman.

During the course the students also undertook a number of site visits, including to the fish market and electronic auction with Martin Leyland; to the LHD netstore where Richard was very helpful in providing off-cuts for them to practice their net-mending skills; and to fish agents LHD where Andrew and Ruth advised them on the income tax and other financial responsibilities that they will now have to consider. The class also had a tour of the Scottish Government's fisheries research vessel Scotia when she was in Scalloway harbour, where fishing master Phil gave them a guided tour.

NAFC's Section Leader Fisheries and Nautical Training Mark Fullerton, who has been delivering many of their classes described them as "a splendid bunch of boys" and wished them every success for their future.

The students said they had really enjoyed the course and that Mark was a fantastic teacher. The practical elements of the course and site visits had been particularly welcome and they appreciated everybody who had taken time out of their busy schedules to meet with them and give a good insight into the fishing industry that they were entering.

This class brings to more than 50 the number of students that have completed the Introduction to Commercial Fishing course at NAFC since it was first offered in 2012.

Due to the high level of demand for this training the Centre will be running another course from 10th Sepetmber and a few places are still available. Anyone interested should contact the NAFC Marine Centre for more details or to enroll.

Executive officer of the Shetland Fishermen's Association Simon Collins said that he "was delighted to see yet another strong intake for this course at NAFC. The fishing industry is again offering motivated youngsters truly rewarding career opportunities at sea, having once been regarded as a career with few prospects and a poor future. We’re proud that Shetland has stuck at it through some very difficult times and can look forward to another generation of talented and committed professionals taking on a challenging and rapidly modernising way of life in the fishing industry."

Some of the class head away for their first fishing trips on Sunday so will soon be putting their new skills into practice.

 

For further information please contact Mark Fullerton (mark.fullerton@uhi.ac.uk , 01595 772000).