Young Ilfracombe skipper helping to catch new recruits

Ben Bengey from Ilfracombe is helping to promote the new Seafish campaign

Ben Bengey from Ilfracombe is helping to promote the new Seafish campaign - Credit: Archant

Ben Bengey, 19, has been signed up for a new industry promotional campaign

Ilfracombe skipper Ben Bengey has been chosen as an ambassador to encourage other young people into the fishing industry.

Ben, 19, will be part of a new The World is Your Oyster campaign launched by industry body Seafish.

It features real people sharing their career stories and aims to capture the imagination of those aged between 16 and 24 currently trying to secure their first step on the career ladder.

Ben is the youngest members of the North Devon Fishermens’ Association and skipper of Silver Spirit, fishing for lobster and crab out of Ilfracombe.

He also runs Silver Spirit Charter which offers angling trips and lobster safaris to locals and visitors.

“I have always loved the sea,” he said.

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“As a child, my dad had a boat and was also on the local lifeboat crew so I was used to waking up and playing with boats from a young age.

“When I was 10, I started crewing various charter boats in the summer. When I finished school at 15 with some GCSEs, I planned on spending the summer charter fishing, but on Friday, July 13, 2012, I went on my first lobster potting boat and from that point forward, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

“Nothing can really set you up for what you’re getting into when you join the industry – there is nothing like it.”

With an ageing workforce in the seafood industry, Seafood hopes its campaign will highlight a rewarding career path with plenty of perks, competitive wages and the chance to ‘earn while you learn’.

Simon Potten at Seafish said: “The industry is a vibrant place to be right now with more choice of diverse and interesting careers than ever before.

“It is a global industry and whether you are leaving school, college or university, I urge you to take a look and see what the seafood industry has to offer.”

* Watch Ben in the Seafood campaign video here

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