NAFC Student Among Fishing News Winners

It was a good night for Shetland at the Fishing News Awards ceremony in Aberdeen last night, with NAFC Marine Centre UHI student Lee Odie, and two former students, among the winners.

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L-R: David Hutchison (winner, Pelagic Fisherman of the Year), Ivan Garriock highly commended, Demersal Fisherman of the Year), Ben Irvine (highly commened, Young Fisherman of the Year), Ross Maclennan (highly commended, Fishing Port of the Year), Lee Odie (winner, Trainee Fisherman of the Year).

Lee, who is a member of the crew of the Shetland whitefish trawler Mizpah (LK 173) and is enrolled on NAFC's Modern Apprenticeship in in Sea Fishing programme, received the 'Trainee Fisherman of the Year' award. The award recognises consistently high levels of application, commitment, co-operation, determination, understanding of the fishing industry, practical skills and safety awareness.

Lee started his working life as a joiner, but always wanted to work at sea. As his interest in fishing grew he started helping boats land fish on the market, where he caught the attention of local fishermen. He then enrolled on the Seafish-funded three-week ‘Introduction to Commercial Fishing Course’ where he completed his basic training. Lee was then taken on as a crewmember on the Mizpah where he has shown a great enthusiasm for the job. He has completed a five-day Bridge Watch-Keeping course, is making good progress on the modern apprenticeship programme, and is thriving in his new career.

In addition to Lee there were four other Shetland winners at the awards ceremony:

  • David Hutchison, skipper of the Shetland pelagic trawler Charisma (LK 362), won the 'Pelagic Fisherman of the Year' award.
  • Ivan Garriock, skipper of the Shetland whitefish trawler Valhalla (LK 687), was highly commended in the 'Demersal Fisherman of the Year' category.
  • Ben Irvine, of the Shetland whitefish trawler Opportune (LK 209), was highly commended in the 'Young Fisherman of the Year' category.
  • Cullivoe was highly commended in the Fishing Port of the Year category (the award was collected by Ross Maclennan of Shetland Islands Council).

Ivan and Ben have both also previously trained at the NAFC Marine Centre, completing a range of qualifications to further their fishing careers.

The Fishing News Awards 2018 are intended to shine a spotlight on achievements, expertise and innovation from within the UK and Irish commercial fishing industries during the previous year.