The fishing industry could be considered the original sea industry. It was, and continues to be, a primary source of employment along Scotland’s coastal communities. For hundreds of years Scotland’s fishermen worked alone in the North Sea, sharing waters with only the occasional commercial vessel.
The arrival of the North Sea oil industry brought new challenges, and for the first time competition to work in the rich waters surrounding Scotland. The fishing industry chose to embrace the opportunity to collaborate with the fledgling oil and gas industry, building relationships that would benefit not only the fishermen, but also the oil and gas operators who gained from extensive knowledge and experience of the seas accumulated over generations.
As the industries continue to collaborate, with information sharing improving safety awareness across both industries.
FLTC Fisheries Awareness Day was a fantastic opportunity for the Oil and Gas industry to find out more about the end user of their information sharing, the Fishing Industry and local fishing communities, and the fishermen themselves, and brought together 28 delegates from across the oil and gas and fishing industries.
The day began with the coach departing from Guild Street at a very early 6am, arriving 7am in Fraserburgh for bacon rolls and coffee at the Dolphin Cafe.
A visit to the Fish Market facilitated by Peterhead Port Authority followed by a trip to local fish processing plant Lunar Freezing gave a fascinating insight into the journey from catch to market to worldwide delivery to consumer. To see how fast moving and, despite automation and high tech equipment, how labour intensive this process remains was one of the highlights of the day, as well as the opportunity to don some white coats and wellies.
A visit to the pelagic fishing vessel Lunar Bow showed the scale and efficiency of modern commercial vessels, while a tour of the smaller prawn and white fishing vessels Endeavor and Serenity gave a realistic overview to the industry and to the fishermen using the seas following a much needed lunch at the Fraserburgh Leisure Center.
The weather did not disappoint, with sunshine from morning til afternoon providing the perfect end to the day with a walk around Fraserburgh Harbour.
Feedback from the day has been very positive, with delegates gaining valuable insight into the Fishing Industry and the local fishing communities, as well as the modern streamlined process of the sea to supermarket shelf.
Thanks to all delegates who attended, and to Oil and Gas UK for their support in organising such a successful day.