One of the next generations of Ilfracombe fishermen has been shortlisted for a national award.

Ben Bengey ate age 18 was thought to be the youngest skipper in IlfracombeBen Bengey ate age 18 was thought to be the youngest skipper in Ilfracombe

Ben Bengey, aged 22, is one of four nominees for the prestigious Young Fisherman of the Year 2019 at the Fishing News Awards, to be held in Aberdeen on Tuesday, May 16.

Ben, who works on his own boat Shelly N (BD 3019) was nominated for his determination and innovative approach to tackling the ever-changing landscape of the fishing industry.

He told the Gazette: "I was very surprised and honoured to be nominated for this award; hopefully it will encourage young people to join the industry.

"I enjoy what I do and being able to do what I love as a career is amazing. I wish the other finalists the best of luck."

At age 17 Ben Bengey went on his first 'live' RNLI lifeboat shout.At age 17 Ben Bengey went on his first 'live' RNLI lifeboat shout.

The award, sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10billion UK seafood industry, is one of 14 awards up for grabs at the final.

Ben started work on lobster and crab boats aged 15 and on local charter boats aged just eight or nine.

He has since worked on vessels including Compass Rose, Orca, Green Isle, Our Jenny, and then his own boats, Silver Spirit and Shelly N.

At age 18 his boat Silver Spirit was the only one in Ilfracombe Harbour with both a commercial and a charter licence.

Ben Bengey from Ilfracombe, seen here helping to promote a Seafish campaign, has been shortlisted for the Fishing News Awards.Ben Bengey from Ilfracombe, seen here helping to promote a Seafish campaign, has been shortlisted for the Fishing News Awards.

He has been involved in many projects promoting the industry, both in communities and nationally, including promotional careers videos for Seafish.

He has been on the crew of Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat for five years, following in the footsteps of his dad Andrew, who still serves on the crew.

Ben recently passed out as a navigator, and is now undergoing training as a helmsman and then coxswain.

The Fishing News Awards highlight the achievements and successes of people from across the UK and Ireland's commercial fishing communities.

Ben Bengey's boat the Shelly N.Ben Bengey's boat the Shelly N.

Marcus Coleman, CEO of Seafish said: "I'm very pleased that Seafish are supporting the Fishing News Young Fisherman of the Year in 2019.

"Our vision is for a thriving seafood industry and supporting and encouraging the next generation of industry entrants is a great way to help ensure a positive future for UK commercial fishing.

"It's great that this award celebrates the achievements of young fishermen like Ben from across the country that are already making an impression."