Fisherman – Job Description
Fishermen work on either large commercial vessels that can be at sea for long periods, catching and freezing huge quantities of seafood as they go, or on smaller boats with crews of just one or two which will go out up to six times a week to bring back their catch.
Either way, the work is physically hard – and that’s when the sea is at its calmest and kindest.
Commercial vessels will employ a number of people, from the skipper down to the deckhands. All have to endure long periods away from home, the dangerous nature of any job where the sea is involved, irregular but often long hours and the physical grind of catching and then processing large amounts of fish.
Smaller boats don’t have the luxury of the mechanised, large-scale processing facilities of a commercial fleet, so the work is arguably even more physically demanding. But the trips and the hours are more regular and fishing closer to home usually negates some of the dangers of working at sea.
Some small-scale fishing work can even involve diving for sponges and sea urchins.
To thrive in such a tough industry, you’ll need to be physically strong and fit, and mentally strong too – some of the toughest aspects of the job are the cramped conditions and with no privacy.
It’s not a job where you’ll need academic qualifications and most training takes place on the job. There are, however, technical fishery courses available which tend to concentrate on the larger scale work of commercial fishing fleets.
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Other recommended resources:
National Federation of Fisherman’s Organisations
An organisation promoting information and development across the sector to ensure best sustainability and profit practice.
Scottish Fisherman’s Federation
Scotland’s fisherman association, promoting the interests of Scottish fishermen.
Fishing Certification and Training GOV.UK
The government resource for fisherman training, with useful information about appropriate certifications for those interested in the sector.
A UK organisation aimed at supporting the seafood industry, promoting sustainability and profitability.
Seafish: List of Approved Trainers
A list of approved and monitored training providers for fisherman training across the UK.
World Fish Centre
A global research organisation promoting sustainability and equality through the fish industry.
A charity aimed at providing a robust support network for fishermen and their families.