Fish trimmers cut off fish heads and remove organs from the body for fish and seafood production. They remove organs by scraping and washing, cut out areas presenting defects, and package the processed fish in appropriate containers.
Fish trimmers typically do the following:
- Cut, clean and trim fish or seafood prior to marketing or further processing
- Scrape away scales, cut fish, separate fillets and remove scrap parts using knife
- Check fish fillets to determine optimal number and size of fillet sections, cut sections according to specifications and place in container for weighing
- Disjoint and remove meat from lobsters or other crustaceans preparatory to canning or further processing.
The following job titles also refer to fish trimmer:
fish preparation worker
No formal educational is generally required to work as a fish trimmer.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Fish trimmer is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Fish trimmer career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to fish trimmer.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of fish trimmer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of fish trimmer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of fish trimmer.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of fish trimmer.
- Maintain cutting equipment: Maintenance of the cutting equipment (knives, cutters, and other elements).
- Tolerate strong smells: Tolerate strong smells expelled by the goods being processed during the production of goods.
- Ensure sanitation: Keep workspaces and equipment free from dirt, infection, and disease by removing waste, trash and providing for appropriate cleaning.
- Comply with food safety and hygiene: Respect optimal food safety and hygiene during preparation, manufacturing, processing, storage, distribution and delivery of food products.
- Slice fish: Cut fish or fish parts into fillets and smaller pieces.
- Mark differences in colours: Identify differences between colours, such as shades of colour.
- Clean food and beverage machinery: Clean machinery used for food or beverage production processes. Prepare the appropriate solutions for cleaning. Prepare all parts and assure that they are clean enough to avoid deviation or errors in the production process.
- Apply HACCP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
- Execute chilling processes to food products: Carry out chilling, freezing and cooling operation processes to food products such as fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, catering food. Prepare food products for extended periods of storage or half prepared food. Ensure safety and nutrition qualities of frozen goods and preserve products in accordance with specified temperatures.
- Remove parts of fish: Remove guts, heads and tails for fish and seafood production.
- Lift heavy weights: Lift heavy weights and apply ergonomic lifting techniques to avoid damaging the body.
- Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.
- Apply GMP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
- Use food cutting tools: Trim, peel and slice products with knives, paring or food cutting tools or equipment according to guidelines.
- Package fish: Package fish in specified containers and compartments after preparing and trimming the fish. Prepare the fish to be shipped, and further treated in the supply chain.
- Wash gutted fish: Wash gutted fish in cold water, rinse it, brush it in a machine, or apply a combination of these techniques.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fish trimmer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Legislation about animal origin products: The applicable legal rules on temperature, waste materials, traceability, labelling, trading, and the transport of animal origin products.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fish trimmer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Care for food aesthetic: Convey presentation and aesthetic elements into the production of food. Cut products properly, manage right quantities into the product, care for the attractiveness of the product.
- Preserve fish products: Place and classify fish products for proper conservation. Maintain suitable conditions for the conservation of fishery products.
- Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
- Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
- Follow hygienic procedures during food processing: Ensure a clean working space according to hygienic standards in the food processing industry.
- Dispose food waste: Dispose or collect food waste with the purpose of recycling or throwing away from the production process. Follow established procedures for their disposal taking care of the environment and the safety matters according to legislations.
- Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
- Ensure compliance with environmental legislation in food production: Make sure to comply with environmental legislation in food production. Understand the legislation related to environmental matters in food manufacturing and apply it in practice.
ISCO group and title
7511 – Butchers, fishmongers and related food preparers
- Fish trimmer – ESCO
- Fish and seafood plant workers – Workforce WindsorEssex
- Featured image: By Balon Greyjoy – Own work, CC0