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Northland fisher wins inaugural Sunderland Marine Young Fisher of the Year Award

Third-generation fisher Logan Murman, 27, has landed the honour of being named the inaugural Sunderland Marine Young Fisher of the Year.  

The award, a collaboration between Young Fish Aotearoa NZ, founding sponsor Sunderland Marine and the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen, celebrates the early-career achievements and hard work of New Zealand’s fishers under the age of 35. 

Murman’s fishing career began when he was 17, working as a deckhand on a local Leigh cray boat and longliners. At 20 he got his skipper’s ticket and continued working around Leigh until 2019, when he headed down to the West Coast to broaden his experience with stints fishing for tuna and a few months as a watchkeeper on a hoki trawler. Murman returned to Leigh and bought the 14.2-metre FV Unity in 2021, which he now skippers, rotating between fishing for crays and longlining for finfish depending on the season. He's a well-respected member of both the Leigh Commercial Fishermen’s Association and the Federation. 

Young Fish co-founder and award creator Ben Pierce says Murman was chosen as the award's inaugural recipient for his range of experiences, openness to innovation and resounding positive feedback from several people in the Leigh fishing community.   

“We were impressed with how Logan has continuously challenged himself to broaden his horizons by fishing in different regions of the country for different species. His multiple nominators praised his willingness to continuously adjust his fishing methods – for example, by fishing in different areas depending on the season or lunar phase – to maximise his success. They also mentioned his positive attitude, how good he is to work with and his ongoing contributions to his local fishing communities, all of which are important qualities to nurture throughout your career.” 

Murman was presented with the custom award trophy during the annual fish ’n chip dinner at the 2024 Federation conference, held in Tauranga. 

Federation President Doug Saunders-Loder says the organisation is committed to supporting youth working in the seafood industry, making the annual conference a natural fit for presenting the award.  

“Last year we celebrated our 70th anniversary, and it’s great to see so many talented, hardworking young fishers like Logan joining our ranks. They’re the future of this industry.”  

As part of the award, Murman will receive $5,000 courtesy of founding sponsor Sunderland Marine to further his maritime training and progress his career.  

Sunderland Marine representative Nicki Peacey says, “We’re excited to see what’s next for Logan. As someone who clearly values ongoing learning and improvement, we couldn't think of a better winner for the first award.” 


About the founding organisations: 

New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen  

Founded in 1953, the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen is a national organisation that represents and advocates for independent, private owner-operator fishers and their crew – typically operating small vessels of 10–30 metres. The Federation has around 375 members, who make up approximately 30% of all inshore owner-operators and crew operating in coastal New Zealand waters. 

Sunderland Marine  

Founded in 1882 in Sunderland, North-East England, Sunderland Marine brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to clients around the world. Providing market-leading marine insurance products to the maritime industry including fishing and aquaculture, the New Zealand office is centrally located in Port Nelson. 

Young Fish NZ  

Started in 2022 by passionate aquaculture minds Ben Pierce, Josh Wyber and Maegen Blom, Young Fish NZ is a networking group for under-35s involved in all parts of the seafood industry – from fishing and marine farming to seafood processing, marketing and science. Young Fish’s mission is to connect young people in Aotearoa New Zealand’s seafood communities and foster their growth and career progression in the industry.