THE first student to complete the Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management was honoured with a new prize in NAFC Marine Centre UHI’s annual awards ceremony last week.
John McCulloch of Cooke Aquaculture was given the inaugural Ertie Nicolson Prize in memory of the late Ertie Nicolson, who had a long association with the NAFC.
McCulloch, who is based at Cooke’s Quoys Hatchery in Unst, had been an excellent student and was a worthy winner of the new prize, said NAFC’s head of Aquaculture Training, Stuart Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons said that the new Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management course was attracting worldwide interest from aquaculture staff.
The NAFC awards ceremony, held last Friday at the centre in Scalloway, Shetland, saw a total of 15 students winning prizes, across a range of disciplines, including aquaculture, fishing, engineering and navigation.
The awards were presented by guest speaker Tavish Scott MSP and Captain George Sutherland, an NAFC trustee, representing the Northern Lighthouse Board and Bells Nautical Trust.
Scott paid tribute to the prize winners and to all of NAFC’s more than 1,300 students enrolled on full or part-time courses over the last academic year.
He also highlighted the success and growth of the NAFC since it started training students more than 25 years ago, and the national and international recognition it has gained during that time, as well as the centre’s role in making the case for the importance of seafood to Shetland.
The other aquaculture winners were: Daniel Cruz of Scottish Sea Farms, based at Vidlin, who was awarded the Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture for the best student completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture (SCQF Level 5); and Leonard Laurenson of Grieg Seafood Shetland, based at Gonfirth, who won the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation Award for the best student completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture (SCQF Level 7).
Picture (left to right): The late Ertie Nicolson’s family, Faith, Margaret and Phillip with winner John McCulloch of Cooke, and the NAFC’s Stuart Fitzsimmons and Saro Saravanan