A new president has been elected by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation. Hannah Fennell, head of the Orkney Fisheries Association, has taken over from Ian Gatt who has stood down after his second spell in the role.
Sheila Keith, executive officer of Shetland Fishermen’s Association, is the new vice-president. Both were elected at the organisation’s recent annual general meeting, held in Orkney.
Hannah said: “I am incredibly pleased and deeply honoured to have been elected as the president of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.
“This appointment represents a tremendous responsibility, and I am humbled by the trust and confidence that the members of the SFF have placed in me. As president, I am committed to continuing the good work of the SFF, advocating tirelessly for the interests of our fishing industry and coastal communities.
“I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of our hardworking fishermen.”
Ms Keith said: “I am delighted to serve as the vice-president of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and thank my predecessors for their hard work to date. Many challenges lie ahead for an industry that deserves more recognition for the hard work that goes into to putting healthy and climate-friendly food on our tables.
“I look forward to working with the SFF staff and members to ensure the issues confronted the industry are dealt with to help build a viable and sustainable future for the Scottish fleet.”
SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “It’s a great pleasure to welcome Hannah and Sheila into their new roles, and I look forward to working with them as we represent our members’ interests and promote this great industry.
“As well as recognising Ian Gatt for his unstinting service, not only since 2016 but during his first spell in the role between 2007 and 2010, I would like to thank him for the invaluable help and support he has provided to me since I was appointed as CEO back in 2019.”
Mr Gatt himself said: “It’s been an honour and privilege to serve during two terms as SFF president for 10 of the 50 years that the federation has been in existence.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work with two hardworking and dedicated chief executives in Bertie Armstrong and Elspeth Macdonald. I’ve also been fortunate to work with many great industry colleagues, government officials and ministers during my 10 years. There have been many challenges to overcome but there have also been opportunities, and it’s clear that this is industry has shown great resilience over the decades.
“It’s been a real delight to serve a fantastic industry that works so hard in a difficult environment, fishing sustainably to put high quality, low carbon, healthy seafood produce on the tables of UK consumers and consumers across the globe. I look forward to continuing to support the work of the federation on the executive committee as an SPFA representative. I wish Hannah and Sheila well in their new task of leading the federation work in dealing with the many issues that our industry faces.”