Bakkafrost’s Johnstone scoops aquaculture award

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Two aquaculture trainees from Bakkafrost Scotland and Scottish Sea Farms are among the winners at Lantra Scotland’s ALBAS (Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills).

The awards were held last night at the Dunblane Hydro. Among the winners were Craig Johnstone from Tarbert in Argyll who won the Aquaculture Learner of the Year category, while Lori Smith from Bixter in Shetland took the runner up spot.

Johnstone has been doing a Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture through UHI Shetland, while working as a Site Manager for Bakkafrost Scotland.

He said: “Thanks to Lantra Scotland for selecting me for these awards, and to my tutors at UHI Shetland and employers at Bakkafrost Scotland who have stuck with me throughout. It’s an honour to be recognised like this.”

Lori Smith has been doing a Modern Apprentice in Aquaculture through UHI Shetland, while working as a Fish Technician for Scottish Sea Farms.

Lori Smith

More than 230 finalists, event supporters, employers, training providers and industry leaders attended the awards evening, including Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon. After an opening address by the Cabinet Secretary, social media star and sheep farmer Cammy Wilson presented winners and runners-up with industry awards for agriculture, aquaculture, equine, game and wildlife, horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber.

As well as an Overall Winner, Runner-up and Modern Apprentice of the Year, there were also categories for Higher Education, School Pupil and Secondary Schools, CARAS (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies), a Mentor award for inspirational tutor, the Tam Tod Trophy and the Anna Murray Award for Partnership Working.

The winners and runners-up for ALBAS 2023 were chosen by an independent judging panel made up of influential figures from across the land-based and aquaculture sector, chaired by Keith Paterson of Forestry and Land Scotland.

The ALBAS are organised by Lantra, the sector skills council for the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries.

Liz Barron-Majerik, Scotland Director, Lantra, said: “We have again had some fantastic entries for the ALBAS, and everyone who was nominated should be very proud of their achievements.

“Our learners are literally the best of the best from our sector, a sector which is crucial to the economy, our communities and for the environment.”

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