Ian Gatt made a CBE for services to Scottish fishing

Ian Gatt made a CBE for services to Scottish fishing

Ian Gatt, the chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, has been awarded a CBE in the King’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his work within the Scottish fishing industry.

He has spent his entire career in the fishing industry, working the first half as a fishing skipper where he pioneered new fishing techniques and cutting-edge technology in the large vessel whitefish sector.  He was at the forefront of opening new fishing grounds on the Rockall bank, 200 miles West of the Hebrides which had never previously been worked by the Scottish fleet.

After retiring from the sea in 2010, Gatt has undertaken several influential roles representing the Scottish fishing industry. He has been chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association for the last 14 years – a role he says he continues to relish – and has been President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) during two terms, spanning 10 years, when he represented the interests of SFF constituent members from Shetland to the Borders.

Ian Gatt is chairman of the Scottish Fishermen’s Trust, a charity established by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation to support projects that benefits the fishing industry and the wider marine environment. He is also  deputy chairman of the Fishermen’s Mission – a national charity dedicated to supporting fishermen and their families – and is chairman of the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group.

Ian Gatt said: “I am honoured and humbled to be awarded  a CBE and I am fortunate during my career to have represented the interests of fishermen throughout Scotland. This award provides recognition of the importance of fishing to Scotland and the tremendous work of all its participants, both at sea and onshore.

“We must never forget that this industry provides sustainable, low carbon, healthy protein to the people of this country.  And we must never forget that too many fishermen have paid the ultimate price for putting fish and shellfish on our tables.”

Ian Gatt comes from fishing families in the village of Gardenstown on the Moray Firth. His grandmother on his mother’s side was one of the herring gutting ‘quines’ (women) that followed the seasonal herring fishery round the country.

His family moved to Macduff when he was young, with Gatt being educated at Banff Academy.  He lived and worked in the area until 2005 when he moved to Inverurie.