Clyde Fishermen's Association secretary.

Born March 3, 1959; Died August 20, 2014

Archie McFarlane, who has died aged 55, had a fishing heritage that stretched back generations, making him a hugely knowledgeable and passionate advocate for his industry.

Born and bred on Islay, his forebears were of Irish extraction and had married into the island community in the 1820s where they established a foothold in the trade, hand lining for cod, then herring drifting, creel and scallop fishing.

With such a long tradition of the sea behind him it was almost inevitable he would follow in their wake. And as a result of his expertise, gleaned over almost 40 years in the industry, he eventually found himself in the perfect position to represent his peers as secretary of both the Islay and Clyde Fishermen's Associations, where he brought his tough but reasonable brand of diplomacy into play.

He knew intimately the vagaries of the fishing trade, having left it for a short-lived career in the Merchant Navy, but it lured him back, albeit in an administrative post, though he still kept a boat and could not resist shooting his creels occasionally.

The son of fisherman Jim McFarlane and his wife Donalda, who also had three daughters, he was born in Port Ellen where he attended the local primary school before going on to high school in Bowmore.

On leaving school at 16, he immediately went into the family trade, working on his own small lobster creel boat for the first couple of years.

Then he joined his father on the family boat for several years until 1982 when he had his own small crayfish diving boat built, The Defiance. He sailed out of Port Ellen but covered the west coast as far north as Barra. From that he moved on, in 1988, to another new vessel, the New Dawn, a purpose-built crab and lobster boat.

The New Dawn was later lost off the west of Islay when it sank after developing a fault in its circulating system. Mr McFarlane and his crew were rescued by a nearby vessel and within a year he went into scallop dredging on a new 50ft boat he named the Christy M, after his daughter.

But in 2000, with the cost of fuel and gear rocketing, he sold the vessel and acquired a smaller boat for creel fishing, which he still had at the time of his death. In the subsequent years he left full-time fishing behind for a while, deciding to embark on a different life in the oil industry. He took up a post as a small craft operator on board a North Sea supply boat, but the job was not for him.

Since his teens he had had a passion for motorcycles and for a while he combined that love of biking with a job as a weatherman for MotoGP, the leading motorcycle racing world championship. Working with Michelin and Team Roberts, he monitored the weather in order to determine which tyres would best suit the prevailing road conditions.

He travelled the world with MotoGP, visiting countries including Japan, the United States, Australia, Italy and Spain and, since it was seasonal work, he was also able to return periodically to Islay and his fishing.

Then in 2009 the post of secretary to the Clyde Fishermen's Association (CFA) came up and he decided to change gear again. By this time he had decades of practical experience and a deep knowledge of the problems facing the industry plus the responsibility of running his local Islay Fishermen's Association.

He proved articulate, dedicated and determined in representing the best interests of Clyde fishermen, earning the respect of those for whom he fought relentlessly on a range of issues - from offshore windfarms to compensation.

"As a fisherman, he had an intimate understanding of the key issues affecting our industry and was universally liked and respected by everyone in the Clyde Fishermen's Association and the wider fishing community," said Kenny MacNab, chairman of the CFA. "He worked tirelessly on behalf of the association."

Scotland's Fishing Minister Richard Lochhead, who often sought his advice, described him as one of most likeable people you could meet. "We have lost a passionate and popular but tough advocate for the fishing industry but most of all we have lost a popular and lovely man who was a thoroughly decent human being.

"He was a well-respected pillar of the fishing community and will be sadly missed."

Mr McFarlane, who died following a motorbike accident in Argyll, had just toured the north of Scotland on one of his three bikes, visiting corners of the country he had never explored before. Over the years he had also toured extensively in Europe and enjoyed skiing in the Swiss Alps.

Whatever he took on, whether in business or for pleasure he gave it his all, determined to get the most out of life. He is survived by his three children, Jamie, Sean and Christy, two grandchildren, his parents and sisters Sheila, Fiona and Susan.