As a fisherman, our job is to go to sea and catch all different species of fish and shellfish using different fishing methods such as trawling, netting, long lining or using pots. Fish can be targeted using electronic equipment like sonars to scan the water below your vessel or plotters to find shipwrecks which are good fishing spots or just good knowledge of the area you are fishing in. 

Commercial fishing is a very physically challenging job due to the heavy lifting involved and trying to battle the state of the sea can be very difficult. You also must be very strong willed as it can be mentally tough as well when the catches are low and lack of sleep you can get. 

You need to have training to be able to go to sea. The courses are a day in duration and the five mandatory courses are: 

  • Basic sea survival 
  • Basic first aid
  • Basic firefighting and Prevention
  • Basic health and safety 

All new fishermen must do the Basic Sea Survival course before going to sea for the first time.  The other sources must be done within 3 months of starting work as a fisherman.  These are all run by many training organisations.

For more information, see:

National Careers Service: Fishing boat deckhand | Explore careers | National Careers Service Fishing certification and training – GOV.UK (