THOSE of us at Fish Farmer getting ready to go to Aqua Nor had hoped we would see our former colleague William Dowds there, but it was not to be. William passed away on August 3, and despite his failing health in the last weeks, he was as engaged as ever with the aquaculture world he loved. He’d made it to Trondheim in 2017, months after major surgery - in fact, it’s fair to say, he stole the show that year. Wearing his kilt, he caught the attention of Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, who interrupted his tour of the Trondheim Spektrum while William showed him pictures of old Fish Farmer front covers (including the one featuring Prince Charles at Marine Harvest) on his iPad.
William refused to let illness cramp his style and in the past year or so he also fitted in trips to Dubrovnik, Aviemore, Montpellier and, as recently as March, New Orleans, and many of his industry friends will be happy they spent time with him on these occasions. I will miss him, not just on the road, where he was the best of travelling companions (jolly even before those 5.55am flights), but as the source of all aquaculture related wisdom, important and not so, dispensed with typical William directness.
Plans are already afoot to toast him (with his 260 kroner shots of Lagavulin) in Trondheim later this month, so he will be there with us after all, in spirit at least. Slàinte and skol William!