NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Tributes as honorary SFF president Willie Hay dies

Willie Hay
Image caption Willie Hay CBE first went to sea at the age of 15

Tribute has been paid to the honorary president of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF), who has died at the age of 84.

Willie Hay CBE, from Portsoy in Aberdeenshire, was president of the SFF from 1982 to 1993.

He first went to sea in 1943, aged 15.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: "Willie was a true gentleman who believed passionately in protecting the interests of Scottish fishermen. He will be sadly missed."

Bob Allan, who was chief executive of the SFF during the period Mr Hay was president, added: "He was a very effective leader who was equally at ease in large meetings with fishermen or holding top-level discussions with government or European officials.

"He was held in huge respect by fishermen and government ministers and the contribution he made to protecting the interests of the Scottish industry was quite simply immense."

First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Willie Hay was an outstanding fishing industry leader. He taught me a huge amount about the realities of the fishing industry.

"My condolences go to his family and many friends at this time."

Mr Hay bought his first boat, the Golden Eagle, in 1956, which fished out of Buckie and Aberdeen.

He was made an MBE in 1983 and a CBE in 1986, in recognition of his services to the fishing industry.

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