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Whitby Seafoods Buys Scampi Trawler

Whitby Seafoods is celebrating the purchase of Portavogie based fishing boat The Golden Ray.

The Golden Ray B963 is a scampi trawler skippered by third generation fisher Darren McClements who has been fishing for over 37 years.

Darren will join Kilkeel Seafoods, the Northern Ireland based company that is part of the Whitby Seafoods Group, as Fleet Operations Director.

Darren was a ‘Fisherman of the year’ winner at the 2023 Fishing News Awards, nominated for ‘undertaking leading work for the industry’, which included collaborating with Whitby Seafoods and SafetyNet Technologies on ground-breaking gear trials.

The company says that the announcement is

"further evidence of Whitby Seafoods’ commitment to improving welfare and innovation on fishing boats. This is part of a long term investment strategy for the business and the first boat the company will own outright."

The Golden Ray has partnered with Whitby Seafoods for many years to undertake many pioneering fishing gear trials. These trials include work on a number of gear selectivity devices, catch handling innovation and more efficient propulsion.

New technologies being tested on the boat could give clear sight of the fishing grounds so The Golden Ray can head directly to best fishing areas to reduce fuel usage and the impact on the sea bed.

Whitby Seafoods Managing Director Daniel Whittle said:-

“This important purchase means we can showcase best practise in gearing and technology and the highest welfare standards.

This investment shows Whitby Seafoods’ tangible commitment to provide real on the water solutions to further improve the welfare of fishers and the sustainability of scampi, the dish we are famous for.”

Whitby Seafoods recently announced they had coordinated a cross industry agreement to move to an ITM (In Transition to MSC) fishery improvement scheme to gain Marine Stewardship accreditation for scampi caught in the waters around the British Isles. The first in person meeting of the ITM will take place in Edinburgh on 30th April.

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