How to become a Master Fisher

Master fishers control fishing operations to catch and preserve fish, crustaceans and molluscs in ocean, coastal and inland waters, using equipment such as nets, lines, traps, pots and towed dredges.

Personal requirements of a Master Fisher

  • Physically fit (a medical examination may be necessary)
  • normal colour vision (to become a skipper, although restricted licences may be available)
  • an awareness of maritime safety issues
  • able to do manual work
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • a good sense of balance
  • able to work as part of a team
  • team leadership skills
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job.

Duties & Tasks of a Master Fisher

Master fishers may perform the following tasks:

  • direct fishing operations by using knowledge about the species sought, fishing grounds, seasons and the capabilities of the boat and the crew
  • plot courses and work out positions using navigational aids
  • operate radio, radar, sonar, echo sounder and other navigational and fishing aids
  • check and interpret weather patterns and obtain radio weather forecasts
  • use nets, lines, poles, pots and traps at varying depths to catch fish, molluscs and crustaceans
  • supervise and assist crew in fishing operations and sorting, cleaning, preserving, stowing and refrigerating the catch
  • record daily activities in ships' logs, keep accounts and maintain records of catches
  • maintain safe operating conditions for crew, vessels and fishing equipment
  • inspect vessels and gear to ensure they are maintained properly and oversee repair or replacement of defective items
  • harvest shellfish from the seabed using towed dredges.

Working conditions for a Master Fisher

Master fishers work in all types of weather conditions and spend long hours at sea. Conditions can be cramped while at sea and fishers may be required to work odd hours. Shifts are conducted around the clock.

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