Industry mourns AKVA man
AKVA Group Scotland said its UK and Ireland sales manager, Derek Smith, who has died aged 52 after a short illness, was an AKVA man through and through.
Diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic and liver cancer in June, Smith remained optimistic and positive to the end, said the company.
Highly respected by both his AKVA colleagues and customers, Smith had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the company’s products and was passionate about the aquaculture sector.
‘When not in work, Derek was a family man, with a great love of the outdoors,’ said AKVA’s Scottish team.
‘If he wasn’t fishing, he was mountain biking, if he wasn’t mountain biking, then he’d be out bird spotting, whilst walking the hills and mountains of Scotland.
‘His two other passions revolved around football and music.A Caley Thistle season ticket holder and a staunch supporter of the Tartan Army, he was often found with his wife, Linda, at the home of Scottish football cheering on his team.
‘His tastes in music were broad and varied and he was a huge fan of live performances, the heavier and louder the better!’
Smith’s diagnosis came after he returned from his annual fishing pilgrimage to Simmer Dim on
Shetland on June 20. His colleagues said he was very focused and good humoured in his last weeks, but ‘the combination of two aggressive cancers was too much for even Derek to fight’.
‘He will always be remembered for his humour, kindness, knowledge and passion for all things fishy,’ said the company.
‘He is a huge loss to AKVA Group, and to his many friends and colleagues.
‘Our thoughts, prayers and sincerest condolences are with his wife, daughter and sisters, who were with him when he passed.’
Smith’s funeral was held on July 27 at Inverness Crematorium. Donations can be made in support of the Highland Hospice and the Pancreatic Cancer research fund.
Above: Derek Smith, fishing passion