Seagoing training

At Seafish, we co-ordinate training for commercial fishermen working on UK-registered fishing vessels. Funding is currently available to all commercial fishermen (who are fully compliant with Basic Safety Training Regulations) to attend a wide range of safety courses; from refresher training, to more advanced courses such as stability, navigation and radio operations. All applications for funding must be approved by Seafish in advance of training being undertaken. For more information on courses eligible for funding contact the Seafish Fishermen`s Safety Training Team on 01472 252302.

We strive to provide these fishermen with access to high quality training/learning opportunities. Specifically we:

  • collaborate with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency to develop and improve courses for commercial fishermen.
  • approve courses, instructors and training providers across the UK and monitor the quality of their provision
  • develop training materials and online learning resources to support commercial fishermen in their training/learning.

Note: Seafish does not hold a list of course dates. To obtain information of what courses are available and what dates they are being held please go onto the offshore Approved Training providers page, where you can find contact details  Contact an ATP to book yourself on a course.        

All commercial fishermen must complete mandatory basic safety training and further voluntary training is available for those who want to enhance their Knowledge, skills and qualifications and expand their employment opportunities.

Another option open to new entrants is to undertake our 3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing course which includes as part of its syllabus the four basic mandatory courses as well as lots of other knowledge and skills that will prepare them for work in commercial fishing.  

Courses are delivered by our network of Approved Training Providers. We also provide free access to information via our                    e-learning platform.

Click here for information about training in aquaculture.

We welcome all feedback on our training courses and learning materials. Please email with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.

Commercial Fishing

Training is vitally important for fishermen to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge, skills and qualifications required to undertake this hazardous work as safely as possible.

Basic safety training

All fishermen are required to undertake mandatory safety training Anyone starting work on a UK-registered commercial fishing vessel for the first time must complete 1-day Seafish courses in sea survival, fire-fighting, first aid and health and safety, all fishermen who have been working for two or more years must also have completed a 1-day Seafish course in Safety Awareness and Accident Prevention. We recommend that all fishermen should refresh their basic training every three years to ensure that they keep their safety knowledge and skills up-to-date. You never know when you might need it, but in an emergency it is vital that you and your fellow crew members know what to do. Lives may depend on it.

Funding support

Funding may be available to support experienced commercial fishermen undertaking training to develop their knowledge, skills and qualifications above and beyond minimum legal requirements. A wide range of training can be supported, ranging from refreshing your basic safety training to undertaking a Deck or Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency. To find out if funding is currently available in your area, call our Fishermen's Training team on 01472 252302, or email us at All applications for funding must be approved by Seafish in advance of training being undertaken.


To complement our range of taught and on-the-job training courses, we have also developed an online learning resource to provide new and experienced commercial fishermen with free access to information on a wide range of topics, ranging from fishing gears to watch-keeping.


Seafish has collaborated with the Maritime Skills Alliance to create a Sea Fishing pathway in the Modern Apprenticeship framework available in Scotland and a Diploma in Maritime Studies (Sea Fishing) available in England Wales and Northern Ireland.

3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing

Our 3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing (ICF) course is designed for people wanting to start a career in the fishing industry (see case study below). The course can be funded. To find out if funding is currently available in your area, call our Fishermen's Training team on 01472 252302, or email us at Please note: certificates are only provided to candidates who complete and pass the whole course.

Case Study - 3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing course

Michael Mitchell, Skipper of CABERFEIDH BH28 completed the 3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing course for new entrants and now runs his own vessel catching mainly lobster and crab. Michael believes that the 3-week course provided him with the knowledge and information required to become a fisherman.

Training and certification requirements for fishermen

The information contained within this section has been put together to bring to fishermens attention the training and certification requirements that currently apply to workers on all UK-registered commercial fishing vessels. It is also intended to act as a guide to career progression for commercial fishermen new to the fishing industry and who wish to progress to skippering a vessel of over 16.5m in length.

Offshore Approved Training Providers

Delivery of our fishermen's training courses is coordinated by our network of Approved Training Providers (ATPs) and delivered by Seafish-approved instructors.

Application Forms

This section includes details and application forms for fishermen to. request replacement certificates apply for a New Entrant, Experienced Fisherman or Under 16.5m Skippers photo certificate apply for grant funding (if available)