Trawlermen TV star Jimmy is the real skipper behind Skipper’s Choice
A lifetime’s experience of fishing Scotland's waters
Jimmy Buchan is the man behind Skipper’s Choice, born and bred in the fishing port of Peterhead on the Aberdeenshire coast and with vast experience of working the waters around Scotland.
He and his trawler Amity II starred in the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning Trawlermen TV series, and he is a board member of the Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation.
Jimmy grew up in the Peterhead hamlet of Buchanhaven, watching from the craggy shoreline as the local fishermen caught wild salmon with inshore nets and harvested brown crab and lobster using creels.
His dream from an early age was to be skipper of his own fishing boat, and after he left school at 16 he served a tough apprenticeship working out of Peterhead as a crew member.
In 1986, Jimmy bought his first boat and named her Amity — ‘friendship’ — and in 1991 bought her successor, Amity II. As owner of both, he has survived many a violent storm and the mixed fortunes of the Scottish fishing industry to become a respected and successful skipper and businessman. He started out as a white fish skipper, but for the past 20 years he has focused on harvesting langoustine.
The seeds of Skipper’s Choice were sown when he began visiting trade shows where he saw large companies using provenance to market seafood caught by their fleets. He took the model and scaled it down, first selling his langoustine direct to local Aberdeenshire hotels. Chefs loved his produce, and from there he began exploring the idea of broadening out to supply a wider range of freshly-caught Scottish seafood through an online shop.
Jimmy successfully completed a two-year business management course to add new practical understanding to his unrivalled knowledge of the highly complex fishing industry, and Amity II meanwhile had a full £750,000 refurbishment in 2012. She now has a much smaller carbon footprint as well as being safer and more comfortable for the crew.
At the helm of Amity II today is an up-and-coming young skipper Jimmy has employed to allow him to focus on building Skipper’s Choice into a flagship showcase for the Scottish fishing industry — and also to ensure a lifetime’s experience and skills are safely passed on to the next generation.
Jimmy’s vision for Skipper’s Choice is now taking shape as the leading online supplier of wild caught, seasonal, sustainable Scottish seafood. Have a look at our produce here.