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Our Story

Proud of our past, passionate about the present, protective of our future.

Our Company

A family business, built on over fifty years of knowledge, Atlantic Dawn Group has grown from humble beginnings to become a leader in sustainable fishing and processing. We operate our own fleet of fishing vessels as well as shore and sea processing facilities, all working in harmony with our environment to bring the finest quality fish to our markets. Our primary focus is on the production and delivery of frozen pelagic seafood to customers worldwide.

Our Company

A family business, built on over fifty years of knowledge, Atlantic Dawn Group has grown from humble beginnings to become a leader in sustainable fishing and processing. We operate our own fleet of fishing vessels as well as shore and sea processing facilities, all working in harmony with our environment to bring the finest quality fish to our markets. Our primary focus is on the production and delivery of frozen pelagic seafood to customers worldwide.

Our History

In the beginning it was simply a love affair with the sea. Atlantic Dawn’s founder Kevin Mc Hugh was born into a coastal community on the western island of Achill, and it was there that he first developed his passion for the sea. Pioneering the art of pelagic fishing, his vision was to bring the freshest catch to shore using the best sustainable practices while putting the safety of the crew at the heart of his business. The timeline below is punctuated by milestones, with each new vessel setting higher standards. The company has continued to progress over the years developing fishing, processing, and trading connections across continents.

1968 Wave Crest
Atlantic Dawn’s founder Kevin McHugh acquired his first boat, the ‘Wave Crest’, which worked in Irish coastal waters, fishing mainly herring, white fish and prawns.

1976 MVF Albacore
Designed in Holland in collaboration with Kevin McHugh, when the ‘Albacore’ launched in 1976 it was the first all-steel fishing vessel in the Irish fleet. The ‘Albacore’ fished herring and mackerel on both the east and west coasts of Ireland.

1980 Antarctic
The new decade brought with it technological advances. These included navigational aids and fish finding electronics. The ‘Antarctic’ took full advantage of these breakthroughs, creating a safer, more efficient working environment. This vessel also pioneered a new form of catch storage with its use of chilled saltwater (RSW) tanks, making her one of the leading fishing vessels of her kind in Europe.

1987 Veronica
The first ‘Veronica’ represented another bold and groundbreaking advance as it was Ireland’s first pelagic factory trawler. Equipped with onboard processing and freezing systems, she was lauded for her design and ingenuity by her peers. The ‘Veronica’ was destroyed by fire at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast in June 1992 – a huge setback for Kevin McHugh.

1994 Veronica
The replacement ‘Veronica’ allowed Kevin McHugh to channel all the knowledge and experience he had previously gained into a more refined and advanced ship. This ‘Veronica’ performed exceptionally well in its fishing operations and was later converted to an off-shore seismic vessel.

2000 Atlantic Dawn
The Atlantic Dawn, a ship that combined the most advanced technology with the most streamlined operations, was launched by the company in 2000. The largest ship operating in open waters at the time, the crew of over 60 also worked in some of the most secure conditions ever created on a fishing vessel. Owned and operated by the Atlantic Dawn company until 2007, it spent much of its time in international waters.

2018 Leila, Lauren, Veronica and Ella
The newest generation of fishing vessels in the Atlantic Dawn fleet, these hybrid models have a unique focus on energy efficiency, environmentally friendly systems and low impact fishing, making them the most advanced to date.

Our History

In the beginning it was simply a love affair with the sea. Atlantic Dawn’s founder Kevin Mc Hugh was born into a coastal community on the western island of Achill, and it was there that he first developed his passion for the sea. Pioneering the art of pelagic fishing, his vision was to bring the freshest catch to shore using the best sustainable practices while putting the safety of the crew at the heart of his business. The timeline below is punctuated by milestones, with each new vessel setting higher standards. The company has continued to progress over the years developing fishing, processing, and trading connections across continents.

1968 Wave Crest
Atlantic Dawn’s founder Kevin McHugh acquired his first boat, the ‘Wave Crest’, which worked in Irish coastal waters, fishing mainly herring, white fish and prawns.

1976 MVF Albacore
Designed in Holland in collaboration with Kevin McHugh, when the ‘Albacore’ launched in 1976 it was the first all-steel fishing vessel in the Irish fleet. The ‘Albacore’ fished herring and mackerel on both the east and west coasts of Ireland.

1980 Antarctic
The new decade brought with it technological advances. These included navigational aids and fish finding electronics. The ‘Antarctic’ took full advantage of these breakthroughs, creating a safer, more efficient working environment. This vessel also pioneered a new form of catch storage with its use of chilled saltwater (RSW) tanks, making her one of the leading fishing vessels of her kind in Europe.

1987 Veronica
The first ‘Veronica’ represented another bold and groundbreaking advance as it was Ireland’s first pelagic factory trawler. Equipped with onboard processing and freezing systems, she was lauded for her design and ingenuity by her peers. The ‘Veronica’ was destroyed by fire at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast in June 1992 – a huge setback for Kevin McHugh.

1994 Veronica
The replacement ‘Veronica’ allowed Kevin McHugh to channel all the knowledge and experience he had previously gained into a more refined and advanced ship. This ‘Veronica’ performed exceptionally well in its fishing operations and was later converted to an off-shore seismic vessel.

2000 Atlantic Dawn
The Atlantic Dawn, a ship that combined the most advanced technology with the most streamlined operations, was launched by the company in 2000. The largest ship operating in open waters at the time, the crew of over 60 also worked in some of the most secure conditions ever created on a fishing vessel. Owned and operated by the Atlantic Dawn company until 2007, it spent much of its time in international waters.

2018 Leila, Lauren, Veronica and Ella
The newest generation of fishing vessels in the Atlantic Dawn fleet, these hybrid models have a unique focus on energy efficiency, environmentally friendly systems and low impact fishing, making them the most advanced to date.

Our Team

We are a local employer in our home port of Killybegs. From our very first fishing crew, we have built a core team of skilled professionals around us. Today our operations are truly international and our team form the backbone of our business.

Together, we have developed Atlantic Dawn Group into an efficient and responsive vertically integrated company. Our team comprises highly experienced individuals in each of our business units. In addition we source and deliver other company’s production to enhance our offering to the market. This ensures that we consistently meet our customers expectations.

Our Team

We are a local employer in our home port of Killybegs. From our very first fishing crew, we have built a core team of skilled professionals around us. Today our operations are truly international and our team form the backbone of our business.

Together, we have developed Atlantic Dawn Group into an efficient and responsive vertically integrated company. Our team comprises highly experienced individuals in each of our business units. In addition we source and deliver other company’s production to enhance our offering to the market. This ensures that we consistently meet our customers expectations.

Our Team

We are a local employer in our home port of Killybegs. From our very first fishing crew, we have built a core team of skilled professionals around us. Today our operations are truly international and our team form the backbone of our business.

Together, we have developed Atlantic Dawn Group into an efficient and responsive vertically integrated company. Our team comprises highly experienced individuals in each of our business units. In addition we source and deliver other company’s production to enhance our offering to the market. This ensures that we consistently meet our customers expectations.

Our Community

Our roots run deep in the North West of Ireland. We are proud to be part of this rural community, supporting local businesses, local sports clubs, community events, schools and charities.

Our Community

Our roots run deep in the North West of Ireland. We are proud to be part of this rural community, supporting local businesses, local sports clubs, community events, schools and charities.

Our Community

Our roots run deep in the North West of Ireland. We are proud to be part of this rural community, supporting local businesses, local sports clubs, community events, schools and charities.

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