Fisheries officers are responsible for the management, conservation and preservation of state and territory fisheries resources. They work to ensure these resources are not endangered or exploited.
To become a fisheries officer in Queensland, SA and Victoria, you usually have to complete a VET qualification in fisheries compliance. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a fisheries officer through a traineeship in Fisheries Compliance. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. In NSW and WA, you usually need to complete training with the relevant government department. In Tasmania, you can work as a marine and rescue officer with Tasmania Police or as an inland fisheries enforcement officer with the Inland Fisheries Service. To work as a marine and rescue officer, applicants must first become qualified police officers. See the separate entry for Police Officer - State for further information. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree in fisheries and aquaculture, criminal justice, criminology, environmental science, environmental management or a related area. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Fisheries officer does not exist as a separate occupation in the NT. This role is performed by sworn officers of the NT Police. See the separate entry for Police Officer - State for more information on how to become a sworn police officer in the NT.
Fisheries officers may perform the following tasks:
The duties of fisheries officers vary greatly across the states and territories. The type of work they do often depends on the size and type of commercial and recreational fishing, and related industries in their region. Fisheries officers may also serve as fisheries observers on naval patrol boats, or they may be responsible for wildlife protection. Fisheries officers are required to wear uniforms. They work irregular hours, including weekends, public holidays and nights. They are often required to move around the state or territory and may be absent from their headquarters for long periods. They work in all weather conditions and may have to sleep in vehicles, tents or boats.
Fisheries officers are employed by state government departments or the police force, depending on the state or territory. Entry to this occupation is very competitive. With experience, and further training, fisheries officers may move into professional science positions or into general management. Employment opportunities are determined by government policy and funding. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is the government agency responsible for the efficient management and sustainable use of Commonwealth fish resources on behalf of the Australian community. Officers performing duties on behalf of the AFMA may be required to perform duties anywhere in Australia.
A boating and fisheries patrol officer is responsible for enforcing the laws governing boating in marine parks and protective zones.
A fisheries observer is responsible for collecting information on fishing operations, catches and the interaction of vessels with the environment. This information is reported back to fisheries managers, the fishing industry, research organisations and the community.