Seagoing training

We co-ordinate training throughout the UK for commercial fishermen.

At Seafish, providing high quality training opportunities for fishermen is one of our top priorities. We:

  • Collaborate with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency to develop safety training courses for fishermen.
  • Approve courses, instructors and training providers across the UK and strive to ensure that training delivery is of the highest quality.
  • Develop training materials and online learning resources.

Note: Seafish do 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 check which courses are offered by each provider and contact them if you need additional information.      

All commercial fishermen must complete mandatory basic safety training and further voluntary training is available to those who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge as well as improve their employability.

Another option open to new entrant fishermen is to undertake a voluntary 3 week introduction to fishing course which includes as part of its syllabus the four basic mandatory courses as well as lots of other basic knowledge on a variety of other fishing activities.  

Courses are delivered by our network of Approved Training Providers. We also offer e-learning.

In this part of the site, you can also read 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.


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

Safety training

Before going to sea, all fishermen are required to undertake mandatory safety training which includes sea survival, firefighting, first aid and health and safety. Experienced fishermen should undergo refresher training every few years. 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 click here or contact the Seafish Fishermen`s Safety Training Team (01472 252302 or email).

Funding support

Seafish encourages fishermen to undertake training and develop their safety skills and knowledge above and beyond minimum legal requirements.


To complement our range of taught and on-the-job training courses, we have also developed an online learning resource.


Seafish has collaborated with the Maritime Skills Alliance to create a Sea Fishing pathway in the Modern Apprenticeship framework.

3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing

The 3-week Introduction to commercial fishing (ICF) course for new entrants is one of a number of voluntary courses developed by Seafish in conjunction with industry. It is a course that is specifically aimed at people wanting to begin a career in the fishing industry.

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 fishermen`s attention the Training and Certification requirements that currently apply to all UK registered commercial Fishing vessels. It is also intended to act as a guide to career progression for commercial fisherman new to the fishing industry and who wish to progress to skippering a vessel up to 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

There are several application forms that seafish use and request from fishermen. They are used to obtain access to the following items To obtain a photo ID Card or "ticket" To obtain grant funding To obtain a free Personal Floatation Device (PFD) An explanation of each of these categories along with a link to download the specific application form is outlined below.