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Fishing expo returns to Aberdeen after two-year gap

Scottish Skipper Expo is the UK's largest show of its kind.
Scottish Skipper Expo is the UK's largest show of its kind.

Scottish Skipper Expo is back later this week after a two-year break and being hailed as an ideal opportunity for the fishing industry to “reinvigorate itself and grasp new opportunities”.

The free event – normally held annually – will take place at P&J Live, Aberdeen, on Friday and Saturday.

It was last held in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, in the old Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

P&J Live, Aberdeen
P&J Live in Aberdeen.

P&J Live offers extra space, more modern facilities and an overall better visitor experience.

Hugh Bonner, managing director of show organiser Mara Media, said excitement was building.

He also praised exhibitors for their “patience and understanding” following the postponement of the shows that should have taken place during 2020 and 2021.

“It is wonderful to have this international meeting place for the fishing industry once more, where productive business can be achieved in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere,” Mr Bonner said.

Hugh Bonner, with Mara Media commercial fishing manager Sharon Boyle at a previous Scottish Skipper Expo in Aberdeen.

He added: “The hallmarks of the fishing sector include resilience, determination and dynamism, and in many ways this expo will be a celebration of the innovation that lies at the heart of fishing.

“We are especially pleased at such a strong exhibitor representation this year, with the companies present representing virtually every equipment and support service available to the fishing industry today.

“There will also be boat displays, which are always a major attraction.

“The show will be further enhanced by plenty of first-time exhibitors, which means there will be lots to interest visitors.

Scottish Skipper Expo at the old AECC in 2017.

Scottish Skipper Expo 2022 represents a real opportunity for the industry to reinvigorate itself and grasp new opportunities.”

Mr Bonner, who is based in Ireland, said he had detected “cautious optimism” in the Scottish industry during the run-up to the event.

‘Confidence is coming back’

He added: “There’s a lot has happened during the past two years, what with lockdowns, Brexit and (low) fish prices. It’s been a very difficult time for the industry.

“But confidence is coming back and people are now just looking forward to the show being held again.”

About 180 exhibitors from 18 countries will attend the show, which is the 10th in the series and sponsored by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.

The biggest event of its kind in the UK, the expo brings together skippers, vessel owners, processors and many others to see the latest technology and meet suppliers.

Doors will open at 10am on both days, with the show running to 6pm on the Friday and 4pm on the Saturday.

The expo will be officially opened by Fisheries Secretary Mairi Gougeon.

An invitation only networking reception, featuring live music and food, will take place at the Douglas Hotel, Aberdeen, at the end of the first day.

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