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Dave Linkie, the Editor of Fishing News, tells us how the Fishing News Awards will recognise the achievements of our fishermen, and why this is so important.

As Editor of Fishing News I often see first-hand just how committed, skilled and dedicated UK fishermen are. However, I’m in a position most people are not fortunate enough to occupy and it’s a shame to see that so much of our fishermen’s challenging work goes by largely unrecognised – though we’re hopeful that’s about to change.

After an eight-year break, our flagship event, the Fishing News Awards is back by popular demand and will be held in Aberdeen on 26 May 2016 (the night before the Aberdeen Skipper Expo begins). With twelve categories open for nominations across the UK & Ireland, the awards are an opportunity for the industry’s best and brightest to be recognised and rewarded by their peers, friends, family and colleagues.

We all know that fishermen often come in for a lot of unfair treatment in the media and these awards will seek to redress the balance by instead promoting the many positive stories from the industry.

It’s so important that all of us involved in the fishing industry do what we can to celebrate just how special and important a career it is. How many other people can say going to work means working very long hours in extremely difficult conditions, to consistently supply fresh fish; a sustainable source of high protein natural food – and one consumers in Britain all too often take for granted while enjoying a healthy and tasty meal. While frequently arduous, fishing is crucial work and vital to the nation’s food security. We’re proud that the resurrection of the Fishing News Awards will give fishermen a chance to see their hard work acknowledged.

We’ve got categories highlighting the skill of demersal and pelagic fishermen, promoting our favourite ports and celebrating the diversity of our fleet, with awards for the best boats under and over 10m respectively. The full list of categories is as follows:

Demersal Fisherman of the Year

Pelagic Fisherman of the Year

Shellfish Fisherman of the Year

Technical Innovation of the Year

Safety Award of the Year

Coastal Fish Restaurant of the Year

Fish Processor of the Year

Fishing Port of the Year

Best New Boat Under 10m

Best New Boat Over 10m

Young Fisherman of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

For the awards to be a success, we need your nominations. Anyone can nominate a colleague, a family member, a friend or even themselves, at our website. Nominations close on 25 March so don’t delay and make sure to take your place among the best in the business.