Scottish Sea Farms freshwater fish health biologist Emily Underhill is one of three aquaculture trainees to make the final of the ALBAS. Photo: Lantra.

Lantra aquaculture awards finalists named

Three aquaculture trainees from salmon and trout producers have been shortlisted for Lantra Scotland’s Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills (the ALBAS).

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Emily Underhill, 27, from Oban, is working as a freshwater fish health biologist for Scottish Sea Farms (SSF) and did a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture with Shetland UHI.

She said “I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to collaborate over the past two-and-a-half years with many talented people in their field, particularly within fish health. Every one of them has influenced me in my career.”

Derek Ferguson: "I take great satisfaction in maintaining the health of the fish stock." Click on image to enlarge. Photo: Lantra.

Optimal husbandry

Derek Ferguson, 33, from the Shetland Islands, is doing a Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management at Grieg Seafood Shetland (now owned by SSF) through Shetland UHI.

He said: “My current role involves ensuring the optimal husbandry of all stock on site, looking after the health and welfare of staff and resolving any problems relating to fish health. It’s very rewarding helping train colleagues and I take great satisfaction in maintaining the health of the fish stock.”


Emmanuelle Rey, 43, from Glendevon, Dollar, has completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture at Dawnfresh Farming Ltd, through Shetland UHI.

She said: “As soon as I learnt about careers in aquaculture, I wanted to do nothing else. In a hatchery there is so much variation from one day to the next, and it always keeps you interested.”

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner and award ceremony on Thursday, March 3 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Dunblane Hydro, hosted by land farmer and comedian Jim Smith.

Judging panel

Lantra Scotland is the sector skills council for land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries. The finalists for ALBAS 2022 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.

Last year’s winner in the aquaculture section was Cooke Aquaculture Scotland freshwater technician Callum Duggan, who was named Aquaculture Learner of the Year award and joint winner of the CARAS (Council for Awards of Agricultural Societies) award for distinguished achievement at an online awards ceremony.

He was also runner up for the overall Modern Apprentice of the Year award.

Grieg Seafood Shetland employee Guy Tindall was named as runner-up for the Aquaculture Learner of the Year award. Tindall, from Burra, worked as a fish farm diver for ten years and is now a marine senior husbandry technician looking after biosecurity and containment.