Skip to content

Rising Stars the Toast of the Sector

Two of Bakkafrost Scotland’s rising stars are celebrating significant industry accolades this week after picking up key sector awards.

Freshwater Optimiser, Charlotte Bolton, was named ‘Rising Star of the Year’ at the Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) awards, while Gigha Site Manager, Craig Johnstone, picked up a Land-based and Aquaculture Skills award from Lantra Scotland.

The WiSA awards celebrated female success on International Women’s Day 2023 and Champion diversity and the role of women in delivering one of Scotland’s most valuable exports.

The organisation invited nominations from over 300 WiSA group members across a range of categories, giving recognition to the positive and impactful role the winners play in Scottish aquaculture.

Charlotte joined Bakkafrost in August, after finishing her doctorate, and said “It is amazing to have been recognised for making a positive impact within my team. I am looking forward to continuing to grow in my new role.”

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “These awards provide a great opportunity to celebrate the important role that women play across the aquaculture sector and all recipients are well deserving of the recognition.”

LANTRA Scotland is the sector skills council for Aquaculture and Land-based industries, developing nationally recognised qualifications in the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation sector, and driving skills development.

The ALBAS (Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills) recognise and celebrate the achievements of apprentices in Scotland’s rural sector, as well as encouraging employers to invest in the next generation of talent.

They play a vital role in promoting careers within the rural sector, celebrating the achievements of learners and highlighting the importance to employers of investing in skills and this year Craig Johnstone was winner of the Aquaculture Category.

Craig, from Tarbert in Argyll & Bute, has been doing a Technical Apprenticeship in Aquaculture through UHI Shetland, while working as a Site Manager in Gigha for Bakkafrost Scotland. He completed his Level 4, Technical apprenticeship (which is the same level as a degree).

He said: “Coming from Tarbert and having family involved in aquaculture, it was natural for me to follow in their footsteps. I love the community culture of the industry and there is so much to learn.

“My apprenticeship has taught me to reach for my goals and also helped me overcome all the challenges that have come my way.”

Ian Laister, managing director, Bakkafrost Scotland added: “Charlotte and Craig were a credit to our freshwater and marine teams.

“Their awards recognise the dedication and commitment they have shown both to our business and to their personal development, showcasing the opportunities to progress and succeed within a sector which is delivering significant benefits to rural communities and Scotland’s world-renowned food and drink sector.”