Aberdeen expo blog: A total of 151 companies exhibiting at the skipper expo

Aberdeen 2016 is, by far, the biggest show yet.

Saturday, May 28, 16.00 p.m. BST

Expo draws to a close

And so another great Aberdeen expo begins to wind down.

With many exhibitors pleased at their two days’ of hard work, and in some cases, ‘hard socialising’, the Aberdeen expo 2016 draws its curtains and the organisers can be pleased with the results of their hard work.

Although held at a time of some uncertainty for the UK fishing industry, due to the upcoming referendum on whether Britain will leave the EU or not, there was a definite mood of optimism in the fishing industry with many fishermen both from the UK and Ireland making enquiries about new vessel designs and builds, as well as placing orders for all types of trawl and potting gear.

This bodes well for the future as the current state of the fishing industry can always be gauged on the mood reflected at a fisheries expo and, if this event is anything to go by, fishermen are ready for all and any new challenges that lie ahead.

With the rousing 'vote to leave the EU' speeches from Fishing for Leave organiser Aaron Brown, Fisheries Minister George Eustace, and UKIP MEP Nigel Farrage, still ringing in their ears, fishermen visitors now return home to the ports nationwide and await June 23rd when they will get a chance to see control of Britain's fishing industry retuned to the UK.

Only time will tell....

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Saturday, May 28, 15.00 p.m. BST

MMG Group brings a ‘cluster’ strategy

As reported in IntraFish Fisheries (June edition) the Måløy Maritime Group (MMG), based on the west coast of Norway, represents a group of 12 companies all working in the maritime sector.Established in October 2015, this cluster is centrally situated along the north-south shipping fairway, offering a complete range of services for the North Sea fishing fleet.

As well as harbor facilities in Måløy that include 1.5km of quayside with several shipyards, the services provided the MMG Group include vessel design and engineering, new construction, conversions, repairs and maintenance to HVAC, electrical services, electronics, fishing gear (trawls and seines, rope, gill nets, traps, long lines and life raft stations) general supplies and bunkering.

Speaking to IntraFish Fisheries at the Aberdeen expo, MMG spokesperson Agnar Lyng said that this event has provided the group with a great opportunity to meet many new fishing industry contacts from Ireland and the UK and that the group are hopeful that fishermen will look towards Måløy for future vessel construction and repair projects.

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Saturday, May 28, 14.20 p.m. BST

French trawl doors company ‘buzzing’

Making a first return after a several years of absence, the well-known French trawl door company Morgère who were excited to be able to showcase their two new innovative fishing gear systems which, they believe, are ideally suited for Scottish fisheries.

The new Exocet trawl door has been specially developed to meet the operational requirements of skippers fishing in the north-east Atlantic and also the new Cyclops pair trawl system both drew much interest from fishermen visiting the expo.

Skippers already using Exocet say they have been impressed by the robustness and stability offered by the trawl door, combined with reduced drag that benefits fuel consumption.

A key feature is the lower angle of attack compared with a standard door while maintaining the same spread.And, for pair teams, Morgère has also developed the innovative new monitoring system ‘Cyclops’ that enables pair trawlers to optimise the size of the trawl opening.

Michel Dagorn of Morgère explained that this new system gives skippers the ability to monitor and control the size of the pair trawl opening as well as helping ensure the desired depth of the fishing gear.

“We were delighted with the interest and feedback that we got at this year’s Aberdeen expo to our new systems.

“Morgère has strong links with the Scottish fishing industry, that has been developed over many years of working closely together and we are pleased that now, with our new Exocet trawl door and the Cyclops pair trawl system, we are bringing new technology to optimise fishing performance,” he said.

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Saturday, May 28, 12.15 p.m. BST

Spanish shipyard’s first time at Aberdeen expo

Among the many ‘old faces’ returning to exhibit at the Aberdeen expo, a first-time exhibitor is the Spanish shipyard of Astander.

Located in the Port of Santander on the northern coast of Spain, Astander Shipyard is a medium-sized ship repair yard specialised in repairs and all kinds of conversion and upgrading projects and, with more than 140 years of experience in the business, have been attracting attention of the fishing world recently.

Three special projects in particular that have been undertaken by Astander in the last two years for a Canadian customer have put Astander back in the world of fishing after a long absence when the activity of the shipyard had been more focused on commercial shipping. These recent projects included:

  • 11-meter lengthening of a first Canadian trawler including installation of a scallop processing plant onboard;
  • Conversion of a PSV boat into a state-of-the-art clam harvesting and processing vessel;
  • Upgrading of a trawler that included installation of a scallop processing plant.

Commenting at the Aberdeen expo a spokesman for Astander said that the successful completion of all three projects encouraged the company to go out to offer their services to other fishing companies in the international market.

“We firmly believe that Astander will become the effective alternative to the ‘usual pilgrimage yards’ that are visited by the fishing fleets in Northern Europe,” he said.

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Saturday, May 28, 11.00 a.m. BST

RNLI important displays on safety at sea

Always popular with visiting fishermen to the Aberdeen expo are the RNLI demonstrations of sea-survival equipment which takes place over both days of the expo.

This year the RNLI’s Fishing Safety team demonstrated flotation and sea- survival equipment, including life rafts, lifejackets, Personal Flotation Devices and survival suits.Frankie Horne, RNLI Fishing Safety Manager for RNLI, said that he was encouraged to see so many fishermen attending these demonstrations.

"We have received fantastic feedback from our demos at the expo in Galway and this is why we decided to hold them in Aberdeen as well," he said.

Following these demonstrations (at the Galway expo) one skipper, Tommy Tulloch of the vessel Keila commented that, for him, it was a very important half an hour spent learning and refreshing about life saving equipment.

“All my crew wear 150N life vests, but on seeing the 275N vest in the pool I ordered 14 of them for my two boats before we even left the expo!“I think all fishermen should attend pool demos like this at least once every two years -- to keep us all refreshed and aware of any new equipment on the market. 

“Seeing guys splashing around in a pool really drives home to fishermen the urgency to wear life-saving equipment at sea,” he said.

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Friday, May 27, 16.00 p.m. BST

Fishing for Leave campaign and public debate

As was expected, the stand hosting the ‘Fishing for Leave’ campaign at the Aberdeen expo was one of the busiest spots at the expo with many fishermen, skippers and a swathe of support from cross party politicians wishing to back the fishing industry’s calls for the UK public to back the UK ‘out of EU’ referendum on June 23rd.

As well as marking the launch of a nationwide media campaign to back the www.ffl.org.uk website, the FFL group hosted a public debate earlier today where the large attendance from all sectors of the fishing and seafood industry listened to the many solid arguments highlighting the EU Commission’s disastrous track record in fisheries management over the past 30 years and why the UK’s fishing industry would be better off if it were to win back complete control of its own waters and fisheries.

This debate drew much local and national media attention with TV crews and journalists from a broad range of media outlets in attendance at the live debate.

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Friday, May 27, 14.30 p.m. BST

Scottish Seafood Association training courses

A regular exhibitor at the Aberdeen expo was again on hand to meet and greet visitors this year as the Scottish Seafood Association (SSA) highlighted its training courses, which are proving increasingly popular in the seafood sector.

The SSA report that Food Hygiene courses have been especially well attended, and working in partnership with the Scottish Seafood Training Network, additional courses are now being rolled out, including courses in sensory assessment and in fish smoking.

Speaking at the expo, Michael Bates, SSA Development Officer, said that these training courses are proving particularly successful and processing companies are increasingly drawing upon the Association’s expertise in this area.

“We’re keen to expand our training courses further and this is why we are working closely with the Scottish Seafood Training Network to develop our training portfolio,” he told IntraFish.

Working in partnership with Box Pool Solutions and the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA), the SSA also provided seafood ‘taster sessions’ during the Aberdeen expo, featuring a wide range of the quality seafood found around Scottish shores – all of which went down very well with the large volume of passing visitors.

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Friday, May 27, 13.00 p.m. BST

Show of strength from Denmark

Among the 17 companies exhibiting on the Danish Pavilion at Aberdeen Expo is the Danish fishing port of Hirtshals

Well known as a major port for the fishing industry, Hirtshals had record €9.9m turnover last year, breaking another limit in the port’s continuous growth for the sixth consecutive year.

Also a popular destination for European-based net manufacturers, Hirtshals is also home to one of the world’s most highly advanced ‘flume tanks’ where net companies can bring scaled models of their trawl designs for ‘real situation’ testing and also to display various new design innovations to invited guests such as vessel owners and skippers.

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Friday, May 27, 11.45 a.m. BST

Fishing for Litter - Scotland

This award winning project has been helping Scotland’s fishermen to clean up the seas for over ten years – and their presence at the Aberdeen was widely welcomed by many fishermen and fishing communities.

To date, more than 930 tonnes of marine litter has been landed through the hard work of fishermen and harbour staff and their efforts were recognized last November when the project received the RSPB’s Nature of Scotland Award for Marine Conservation, entitled "outstanding contribution to the conservation or sustainable management of Scotland's precious marine resources".

The project is operated by KIMO UK from their base in Ellon and more than 200 vessels and 15 harbors participate and there are plans to grow this to 300 vessels and 20 harbors by March 2017. 

The Scottish port of Troon will also soon join with the help of Clyde Fishermen’s Association members, Associated British Ports. 

The harbors already participating in the scheme are; Eyemouth, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Buckie, Scrabster, Lerwick, Cullivoe, Scalloway, Kinlochbervie, Ullapool, Tarbert, Rothesay, Campbeltown, Isle of Whithorn, and Kirkcudbright.

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Friday, May 27, 11.00 a.m. BST

Boats on exhibit

Of the five vessels on display, Audacious Marine showcased a 7m Cougar Cat fitted with a pair of Selva 25 outboard engines, which will now be delivered to an Isle of Man potting skipper straight after the show.

Maver Boats of Crail displayed one of their popular catamaran design, which has been sold to Peterhead skipper William McIntosh. This design is proving popular with Scottish inshore potting skippers.

This design of catamaran features a high foredeck which enhances stability and reduces bow slamming and the company say that major advantage of the catamaran for potting is the amount of space available, providing an excellent working platform.

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Friday, May 27, 10.00 a.m. BST

New Scottish Fisheries Secretary

Following the resignation earlier this month of long-standing Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead, his replacement is to be Mr Fergus Ewing (previous energy minister since 2011) who’s title ‘Secretary of the Rural Economy and Connectivity’ will play an oversight role in Scotland’s fishing rules and industry.

Commenting at the Aberdeen expo on the announcement, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), said his organization looked forward to working with Ewing on important issues facing the country’s fisheries.

“We welcome this appointment and there will be many pressing issues facing the minister, not least the phased introduction of the discard ban where it is essential that practicable and flexible management measures are put in place to prevent any negative impacts on the Scottish fleet,” Armstrong said, adding that the SFF would also like to see evidence-based decision-making at the heart of future fisheries management, for example in the designation and management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Armstrong stressed the importance of industry having a voice in future government decisions:

“Scottish fishing has a great future – all we need is the right regulatory framework to ensure we meet its full potential.

“Indeed, in the past the most effective management decisions have always come when government and industry work together,” he said.