From left: Jimmy Dakin, Valentino Romano and John MacPherson were ALBAS winners from the aquaculture sector. Photo: FFE.

Scottish aquaculture skills awards open for entry

Entries have opened for next year’s ALBAS (Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills) run by Scottish government-backed rural training organisation Lantra Scotland.

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The disrupting effects of the Covid-19 epidemic mean that instead of taking place at the Dunblane Hydro hotel, next year’s ALBAS will be held online for the first time, with a virtual awards ceremony taking place on Thursday, March 4.

Lantra Scotland director Liz Barron-Majerik said: “We want the awards to be as successful as they’ve been in previous years, so to avoid any risks from Covid-19 we’re going to go virtual for 2021.

“Our event will be streamed live on the evening of Thursday, March 4, so instead of our finalists going to Dunblane, they’ll be able to stay at home and watch it online.

“Although the ALBAS may have a different format this time around, we relish a challenge, and we’ll make sure that the show goes on.”

December 11 deadline

Nominations close on Friday, December 11. To enter, call Lantra on 01738 310364, email or visit

Grieg Seafood Shetland employee John MacPherson was named Aquaculture learner of the Year at this year’s ceremony at Dunblane, with Scottish Sea Farms trainee site manager Jimmy Dakin the runner-up.

Valetina Romano, assistant site manager at trout farmer Dawnfresh’s Kinnaird hatchery near Brechin, won the Higher Education Leaner of the Year award, and was one of four people to be given an award by the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS).