Fishermen are at the very heart of the seafood industry, catching the fish and shellfish that we consume every day.
There are a variety of roles needed on a fishing vessel in order to keep operations running smoothly. While many tasks are shared between all members of a vessel, the division of duties can generally be summarised between three main roles: Deckhand, Skipper and Engineer.
- Deckhands, are responsible for day-to-day tasks such as equipment preparation, operation and repair, cleaning chores, cooking, and gutting and storing fish.
- Mates and Skippers manage and supervise the vessel's crew and are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the vessel. Many skippers will also share some deckhand duties, particularly on smaller vessels.
- Engineers are responsible for maintaining mechanical and electrical equipment on the vessel, which includes propulsion equipment, steering equipment, and board pumping equipment.
It is possible to learn on the job and undertake training in order to progress to mate, skipper and engineer roles, though most new entrant fishermen will start out in trainee deckhand roles.
More information about training for fishermen can be found here.
More information about maritime careers, qualifications and learning pathways can be read at the Maritime Skills Alliance website.