Guiding Light champions green fishing practices
New trawler Guiding Light became the latest symbol of industry optimism, as it sailed from the Parkol Marine Engineering shipyard in Whitby.
The pair trawler, ordered by Guiding Light Limited and parent company, Hull-based Andrew Marr International Limited, headed for Peterhead, where she will fish for whitefish alongside sister vessel Guiding Star, which was also built at Parkol in 2014.
“The industry has been quite buoyant for four or five years now and looks set to remain that way,” said skipper Gavin Thain, explaining that Guiding Light is the result of a growing fishing industry and an innovative approach to sustainable fishing.
“A lot of this is down to the effort fishermen like ourselves have put into technical measures such as more selective fishing gear that protects juvenile stocks, to ensure greater sustainability,” he said.
“We have been working closely with the Marine Management Organisation to get that right and adhere to their fishery landing obligations. We have CCTV cameras installed to record what we are catching and exactly how we are doing it, reducing waste and, as a result, bringing back better catches.”
“We retain all our waste onboard, such as plastic, and don’t discard anything into the sea other than biodegradable items. While this isn’t a legal requirement yet, we see it as a moral one, and through our ‘garbage plan’ we are aiming to lead industry practices.”
He commented that Guiding Light is similar to sister vessel Guiding Star, with some minor improvements made, including tweaks to the catch handling system and a higher icemaker capacity.
Guiding Light has been designed by Ian Paton of SC McAllister & Co, with Gavin Thain closely involved with the design from the outset. He has been visiting Parkol regularly throughout the build since the keel was laid. For the last few weeks before delivery, he has been at the yard the whole time.
“Parkol have been fantastic and have really grasped everything I wanted, respected my fishing experience and really gone the extra mile to make it a reality,” he said.
Gavin Thain is a key link in the chain for Guiding Light Ltd and Marr International, as an experienced skipper playing his part in passing on vital skills to the next generation.
“It’s all about investing in the industry and the young fishermen coming through, to ensure strong succession,” he said. “So I’ll be heading a crew of younger fishermen and aiming to train them to keep important skills alive.”
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