Office Bearers & Staff
Alex Wiseman, chairman
Brought up in the fishing village of Gardenstown. Left school and started sea at 15, initially on father’s boat, Girl Jane. First fishery was herring drift net. Thereafter participated in various fisheries including; pelagic trawl, scallops, Nephrops, white fish trawl and seine net. Became skipper of own boat aged 21, alternating between seine net and pelagic trawl for next 5 years. In 1978 decided to focus efforts entirely on pelagic fishing and that continues to this day as skipper/co-owner of the pelagic trawler Kings Cross.
Been a director of Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association since 1988, becoming vice chairman in 2004 and chairman in 2008. Alex is also a director of North East Fishermen’s Training Association Limited and SFF Services Ltd.
David K Hutchison, vice-chairman
Davie started his fishing career in 1960 at the seine net/drift net. After completing his fishing tickets, he took command of his first boat, the 54 ft Heather Belle, in 1968 fishing for scallops and light trawling. Davie built his first purse seiner, Charisma, in Norway in 1979. This boat was lengthened in 1985 before being converted to dual purpose pelagic pair trawl and purse seine. The second Charisma, a 57 metre pair trawler, was built in 1995 and the latest 71m vessel of the same name in 2003.
Elected vice-chairman of SPFA in 2008 after 24 years on the board, Davie is also a director of primary pelagic processor Shetland Catch and a board member of Lerwick Port Authority. He is a vice-chairman of Shetland Fish Producers Organisation and the chairman of the pelagic sub-committee of Shetland Fishermen’s Association.
Ian Gatt, chief executive
Born 1961 in Banff, educated at Macduff Primary school and Banff Academy. Ian left school in 1977 to go to sea on the family fishing boat Orion. Participating first in the Isle of Man herring fishery and then fishing for sprats around the coast of Scotland and NE England. In 1979 Ian joined Sandy West’s Lorena; the working pattern of the vessel at that time involved fishing for mackerel both on the West Coast of Scotland and Cornwall.
Gaining his mates ticket when he was 20 and skipper’s ticket two years later, he then bought his first vessel the Allisanne in 1986. In 1991 Ian had a new vessel built at Macduff Shipyards named Solstice, she has since been replaced twice, both vessels being named Solstice and bearing the original registration number BF 56. On Ian’s mother’s side of the family, fishing has been a way of life for at least three generations. His grandfather John Watt had a herring drifter named Solstice. During the Second World War, Solstice was requisitioned to the war effort and John headed south to Whale Island, Portsmouth to train for a Lieutenant’s certificate. On the 10th March 1941 the barracks were bombed and John was killed; he was 34 years old and left a wife and two young children George and May (Ian’s mother). And so it is in memory of his grandfather that Ian has named his boats Solstice.
In 1998 Ian became a vice chairman of the SWFPA, having served the association as a director for a number of years. The main role Ian undertook within SWFPA was to lead in policy matters relating to the West of Scotland and also Deep-Sea fisheries. Ian held that position until 2007 when he was elected the President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.
Diane Ireland, Admin Assistant