Ian Gatt, chief Executive: Born 1961 in Banff, educated at Macduff Primary school and Banff Academy. Ian left school in 1977 to go to sea on the family fishing boat Orion. Participating first in the Isle of Man herring fishery and then fishing for sprats around the coast of Scotland and NE England. In 1979 Ian joined Sandy West’s Lorena; the working pattern of the vessel at that time involved fishing for mackerel both on the West Coast of Scotland and Cornwall.
Gaining his mates ticket when he was 20 and skipper’s ticket two years later, he then bought his first vessel the Allisanne in 1986. In 1991 Ian had a new vessel built at Macduff Shipyards named Solstice, she has since been replaced twice, both vessels being named Solstice and bearing the original registration number BF 56. On Ian’s mother’s side of the family, fishing has been a way of life for at least three generations. His grandfather John Watt had a herring drifter named Solstice. During the Second World War, Solstice was requisitioned to the war effort and John headed south to Whale Island, Portsmouth to train for a Lieutenant’s certificate. On the 10th March 1941 the barracks were bombed and John was killed; he was 34 years old and left a wife and two young children George and May (Ian’s mother). And so it is in memory of his grandfather that Ian has named his boats Solstice.
In 1998 Ian became a vice chairman of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA), having served the association as a director for a number of years. The main role Ian undertook within SWFPA was to lead in policy matters relating to the West of Scotland and also Deep-Sea fisheries. Ian held that position until 2007 when he was elected the President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.