Our Views

Skipper Expo International 2017 - Jeremy Sparks, Regional Manager

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Skipper Expo International is now the largest annual UK fishing exhibition and this year, with about 200 companies exhibiting from countries around the UK, EU and further afield this year, its growth shows no signs of abating.

The Expo was officially opened by SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong on the morning of 26 May, and Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, was also in attendance.

The Expo included a seminar programme sponsored by Norges Sildesalgslag (the Norwegian Pelagic Fishermen's Association), while the SFF will once again have an open stand with a team of experts on hand to answer questions and provide information on all aspects of fisheries, including Brexit, the welfare of fishermen and training standards.

Seafish fronted a prominent stand bustling with activity throughout the day. Teams from across Seafish including crew training, safety at sea, the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), the  Kingfisher team, gear technology and marine survey; all were there providing valuable information and expertise for visiting industry.

Then of course there was the star attraction with Henry Millington, Principal Marine Surveyor, who readily engaged skippers and crew, both young and old; highlighting stability impacts and dangers while  using no more than a model boat set up in a tepid tank of water and rigged with fishing weights, tubs of marbles and other assorted mini gantries.

Henry Millington SmallerSeafish's safety message was transmitted loud and clear, and was aptly reinforced by the RNLI with PFD demonstrations taking place on both days.

And in some quieter corner of the stand many a discussion was held between Mike Montgomerie and numerous skippers. Whether it was a friendly catch-up or discussion about gear design and selectivity to support the Scottish Gear Innovation Technology and Advisory Group's programme of work, Mike's time was in great demand.

Sharon Boyle, of show organiser Mara Media, summed up the event perfectly when she said: "It is fantastic to see so much interest in this Expo, which is reflected by the large international presence this year. This show has really become well established in the fishing industry calendar and the support from all sectors of the fishing industry is amazing."

All in all, time well spent at a great event which is now a firm favourite in the fishing calendar.

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