Commercial fishing training courses

We develop face to face courses in safety, engineering and other skills for people working in the fishing industry. Find a course that suits you.

Some safety training courses are mandatory and must be completed before going to sea by law. 

It’s also important for anyone working on a fishing vessel to complete other voluntary courses to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.

Mandatory training

Basic safety training

Everyone working on a UK-registered commercial fishing vessel must complete training in:

  1. 1-day Basic Sea Survival1
  2. 1-day Basic Fire Fighting2
  3. 1-day Basic First Aid2
  4. 1-day Basic Health and Safety2
  5. 1-day Safety Awareness3

1Basic Sea Survival must be completed before starting work.

2Basic Fire Fighting, Basic First Aid and Basic Health & Safety must be completed within three months of starting work.

3Safety Awareness must be completed when you have been working for two years.

Seafish has developed training courses covering these five subjects, which are delivered by its network of Approved Training Providers.

The regulations require fishers to hold Seafish certificates certifying completion of basic safety training. However, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency will accept certain other certificates as equivalent for satisfying some of these requirements. Access the Marine Guidance Notice (MGN) 411 documentation for details.

A group of men with flotation devices are floating on their backs in a swimming pool.
Sea survival training takes place in swimming pools

Certificates of Competency

Skippers and mates working on fishing vessels of 16.5m and above are required to hold a Deck Officer Certificate of Competency at either Class 1, 2 or 3, issued by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

Engineers working on fishing vessels with propulsive power of 750kw or more are required to hold an Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency at either Class 1 or 2, issued by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.

Access the Marine Guidance Note (MGN) 411 documentation for details.

Voluntary training

Seafish has developed a range of voluntary training courses, which can lead to the award of a Seafish Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate as follows:

Seafish Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate (Restricted)

For use within 20 miles of a safe haven

  • 2-day Seafish Bridge Watchkeeping (or equivalent)
  • 2-day Seafish Engineroom Watchkeeping (or equivalent)
  • 1-day Seafish Stability Awareness for Experienced Fishermen
  • 1-day Seafish Advanced Stability Awareness
  • 1 day RYA GMDSS Short Range (Radio Operator) Certificate
A fishing safety advisor is talking to a group of men in a classroom
Classroom training for fishermen

Seafish Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate (Unrestricted)

For use beyond 20 miles of a safe haven

  • 5-day Seafish Bridge Watchkeeping (or equivalent)
  • 5-day MCA Approved Engine Course (AEC1)
  • 1-day Seafish Stability Awareness for Experienced Fishermen
  • 1-day Seafish Advanced Stability Awareness
  • 1-day RYA GMDSS Short Range (Radio Operator) Certificate

Seafish Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificates are recognised by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency for use on Small Commercial Vessels – Access the Marine Guidance Note (MGN) 411 documentation for details.

Refresher safety training

Experienced fishermen who completed their basic safety training more than three years ago should re-attend training in sea survival, firefighting, first aid, and safety awareness.

We are currently offering funded places to experienced fishermen working in the UK on in-water (“manoverboard”) awareness events, to help prevent incidents and fatalities, and increase the chances of survival if someone does go over the side of a fishing vessel.

Events are running across the UK and each event is one day.

Venue Dates

Survivex, Aberdeen 

10, 11 and 12 May 2022 

South Shields Marine School

25 and 26 May 2022 

RNLI College, Poole

2 and 3 August 2022 

Thanks to funding from Trinity House we can reimburse travel, subsistence and accommodation for those participating. 

Follow the link below to find out more and to book.

Trawl gear technology training

The Sintef Flume Tank at the North Sea Centre in Hirtshals, Denmark offers practical trawl gear technology training. This gives fishermen a chance to complete training without being subjected to the dangers of the sea and offers a unique insight into the way gear reacts to different conditions.

Seafish can support fishermen wishing to undergo trawl gear technology training in Denmark by funding travel between the UK and Hirtshals, as well as covering the costs of hiring the Flume Tank and overnight accommodation for fishermen and UK trainers – contact our Fishermen’s Training team for further details.

Training for anyone new to the fishing industry

Information on apprenticeships and courses for individuals looking to begin a career in fishing:

Further information

Get in touch

For further information or to book a mandatory or voluntary training course, please email training@seafish.co.uk or contact a member of the team: 

  • Simon Potten (Manager) - 07876 035743
  • Lee Haigh (Adviser) - 07904 660484
  • Katie Hooper (Adviser) – 07966 764151
  • Sharon Hewitt (Administrator) - 07814 818931
  • Nikki Hale (Administrator) - 07814 818930