In memory of Dave Dobson, Former Chief Officer

It is with great sadness that North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority announces the passing of our former colleague and friend, David Dobson. Dave served as the Chief Fisheries Officer in Cumbria Sea Fisheries Committee and later as our Enforcement Director until his retirement in 2011.

Dave had a long history with the fishing industry, starting in the 1970s during which time he purchased his own inshore trawler, Erin Bay. He was a well-known and highly regarded character within the local industry and loved a good chat on the VHF with his fellow fishermen at sea. His knowledge of fishing trawlers was second to none. Back then, he was known for his famous Christmas parties, which he would organise for the fishermen of Whitehaven. After a few celebratory drinks, Dave would often get up to recite his favourite poem ‘The Bantam Cock’.

In 1983, he became an appointed member to Cumbria Sea Fisheries Committee and in 1989 was employed by them as a Fisheries Officer. He would start out as the master of the patrol vessel Solway Protector, ultimately becoming the Chief Fisheries Officer in 1994.

Erik Thinnesen, a former colleague of Dave’s and current NWIFCA employee, remembers Dave fondly from his days as a former trawlerman.

“Dave always kept in touch with the lads on the trawlers and used to phone up asking about what we had caught. I think he was curious and still wanted to be among the fishing community, as he would often say “This time of year I would be in such and such an area”. His knowledge was always respected, and unbeknownst to him, I used to pinch plenty of his ideas.

I had to ask him for assistance on a few occasions. He once steamed out of Whitehaven ten miles west of the harbour where I was fishing at the time to chase off a scallop boat, who was fishing near to our gear. On another occasion, he brought me out some diesel, as I had pushed the day’s trip a bit long and ran out of fuel. This was Dave through and through, a considerate, helpful all-rounder.”

Dave is remembered by past and current staff as a patient man and a knowledgeable teacher, who in turn was rewarded with dedication and commitment from his officers.

Dave met his wife Cath, herself a current NWIFCA employee, in the Whitehaven office, and they married in 2010. They enjoyed many happy years together.

The chairman of the authority Phil Capper said “I have known Dave from when we were both fishery officers in the time of sea fisheries committees and in subsequent service with the NWIFCA. I will miss his dry sense of humour and offer my personal condolences to his family”.

Dave was a fine upstanding figure in the North West fishing community and will be sorely missed. Our condolences go to his wife, our colleague, Cath and all of his family.