Fisheries boatman


Fisheries boatmen operate small boats inshore and near the coast only. They organise, manage and execute shipping activities on deck and with engines. Fisheries boatmen capture and conserve fish or engage in aquaculture operations. They respect the safety conditions and comply with national and international regulations.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to fisheries boatman:

local fisheries boatman
fisheries boatwoman
local fisheries boatwoman
local boatman
local fishing vessel skipper

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as fisheries boatman. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

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.

Fisheries boatman is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Fisheries boatman career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to fisheries boatman.

fisheries assistant engineer
fisheries boatmaster
fisheries master
fishing net maker

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of fisheries boatman. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of fisheries boatman with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

fisheries observer
fisheries refrigeration engineer
deck officer
marine chief engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of fisheries boatman.

  • International regulations for preventing collisions at sea: Fundamental aspects of the international regulations to prevent collisions at sea, such as the conduct of vessels in sight of one another, navigation lights and markers, major light and acoustic signals, maritime signalling and buoys.
  • Fishing gear: Identification of the different gear used in capture fisheries and their functional capacity.
  • Assessment of risks and threats: The security documentation and any security-related communications and information.
  • Vessel stability principles: Thoroughly understand the principles of vessel stability; follow safety requirements during loading and unloading of cargo.
  • Code of conduct for responsible fisheries: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the guidelines established for professional fishers.
  • International convention for the prevention of pollution from ships: The fundamental principals and requirements laid in the International Regulation for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL): Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil, Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk, prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form, Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships, Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships, Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships.
  • Deterioration of fish products: Process of decomposition and spoilage of fish products: physical, enzymatic, microbiological and chemical processes occurring after harvesting.
  • Vessel safety equipment: Gain theoretical and practical knowledge of safety equipment used in vessels, including devices such as lifeboats, life rings, splash doors and fire doors, sprinkler systems, etc. Operate equipment during emergency situations.
  • Fisheries legislation: The study and analysis of different fisheries management approaches taking into account international treaties and industry norms in order to analyze fisheries management regulations.
  • Maritime meteorology: The scientific field of study that interprets meteorological information and applies it to ensure the safety of marine traffic.
  • Fire-fighting systems: The devices and systems used to extinguish fires; the classes and chemistry of fire.
  • Fishing vessels: Denomination of the different elements and equipment of fishing vessels.
  • Principles of cargo stowage: Understand the principles of cargo stowage. Understand procedures by which containers should be efficiently loaded and unloaded, taking into account gravitational forces that are exerted during transportation.
  • Risks associated with undertaking fishing operations: General risks occurring when working on fishing boats and specific risks occurring only in some fishing modalities. Prevention of threats and accidents.
  • Global maritime distress and safety system: The internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft.
  • Quality of fish products: Factors affecting the quality of fish products. For instance, differences between species, impact of the fishing gears and parasite influence on the preservation of quality.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of fisheries boatman.

  • Provide on-board safety training: Develop and implement on-board safety training programmes.
  • Assess trim of vessels: Assess the trim stability of vessels, referring to the stability of a vessel while it is in a static condition.
  • Preserve fish products: Place and classify fish products for proper conservation. Maintain suitable conditions for the conservation of fishery products.
  • Provide first aid: Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid in order to provide help to a sick or injured person until they receive more complete medical treatment.
  • Prepare and execute regular safety exercises: Plan and perform regular safety exercises; maximise safety in potentially dangerous situations.
  • Use water navigation devices: Utilise water navigation devices, e.g. compass or sextant, or navigational aids such as lighthouses or buoys, radar, satellite, and computer systems, in order to navigate vessels on waterways. Work with recent charts/maps, notices, and publications in order to determine the precise position of a vessel.
  • Extinguish fires: Choose the adequate substances and methods to extinguish fires depending on their size, such as water and various chemical agents. Use a breathing apparatus.
  • Secure cargo in stowage: Secure cargo stowage with basic knowledge of stowing methods; ensure efficient and safe transport of goods.
  • Undertake navigation safety actions: Recognise unsafe situations and perform follow-up actions according to the safety regulations. Immediately warn ship management. Use personal protective and rescue equipment.
  • Assess stability of vessels: Assess the two kinds of stability of vessels, namely transversal and longitudinal.
  • Communicate using the global maritime distress and safety system: Send an alert in case of distress, using any of the various GMDSS radio systems such that the alert has a very high probability of being received by either shore rescue authorities and/or other vessels in the area.
  • Prevent sea pollution: Organize and monitor environment protection applying the regulations for pollution prevention at sea.
  • Coordinate fire fighting: Organize and direct the operations of fire fighting, according to the ship’s emergency plans to ensure safety.
  • Manage ship emergency plans: Organize and manage emergency operations, flooding, abandoning ship, survival at sea, search and rescue of shipwrecked, according to the ship’s emergency plans, to ensure the safety
  • Apply fishing manoeuvres: Run shooting and hauling gear operations for its optimal performance, complying with the regulations for responsible fishing and with the security measures.
  • Survive at sea in the event of ship abandonment: Identify muster signals and what emergencies they signal. Comply with established procedures. Don and use a lifejacket or an immersion suit. Safely jump into the water from a height. Swim and right an inverted liferaft while wearing a swim while wearing a lifejacket. Keep afloat without a lifejacket. Board a survival craft from the ship, or from the water while wearing a lifejacket. Take initial actions on boarding survival craft to enhance chance of survival. Stream a drogue or sea-anchor. Operate survival craft equipment. Operate location devices, including radio equipment.
  • Ensure vessel compliance with regulations: Inspect vessels, vessel components, and equipment; ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
  • Handle fish products: Handle fish with care and hygiene required to maintain quality. Adequately prepare fish products for storage.
  • Conduct water navigation: Ensure that a vessel carries up to date and adequate charts and appropriate nautical documents. Lead the process of preparing the voyage report, the vessel passage plan, daily position reports, and the pilot’s information sheet.
  • Manage cargo handling: Manage safely the mechanical elements in the loading and unloading of cargo and stores. Organize stowing and unstowing of products to guarantee the stability of the vessel.
  • Recognise abnormalities on board: Identify anomalies and abnormalities on board, evaluate them, and take appropriate actions to restore normal operation of ship. Check all (safety) systems for operational functions. Organise actions to be taken in the event of an identified problem.
  • Evaluate schools of fish: Interprete the information provided by electronic equipment and other aid to fisheries to evaluate the characteristics of a school of fish.
  • Schedule fishing: Organise effective fishing manoeuvres taking into account the meteorological conditions and the extractive system.
  • Maintain safe navigation watches: Observe principles in keeping a navigation watch. Take over, accept and pass on a watch. Steer the vessel and perform routine duties undertaken during a watch. Observe safety and emergency procedures. Observe safety precautions during a watch and take immediate actions in the event of fire or accident.
  • Support vessel manoeuvres: Participate in manoeuvres at port: berthing, anchoring and other mooring operations. Contribute to a safe navigational watch.
  • Provide training: Provide training and orientation to new team members, or assign this task to an appropriately experienced team member.
  • Swim: Move through water by means of the limbs.
  • Operate ship propulsion system: Perform start-up and subsequent observation of the working parameters of the ship’s propulsion system. Check the operating parameters of electric generators in the switchboard, power sources and electrical and electronic equipment and navigation lights. Verify that the operating parameters of pneumatic and hydraulic systems are within the values. Perform simple maintenance procedures, repair and replacement of damaged items.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fisheries boatman. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Fisheries management: The principles, methods and equipment used in population management applied to fisheries: the concept of catch, by-catch, fishing effort, maximum sustainable yield, different sampling methods and how to use sampling material.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fisheries boatman. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Work in outdoor conditions: Can cope with the different climate conditions such as heat, rain, cold or in strong wind.
  • Communicate verbal instructions: Communicate transparent instructions. Ensure that messages are understood and followed correctly.
  • Lead a team: Lead, supervise and motivate a group of people, in order to meet the expected results within a given timeline and with the foreseen resources in mind.
  • Compose stowage plans: Compose stowage plans; knowledge of ballast systems and cargo loading process.
  • Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
  • Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
  • Respond to changing situations in fishery: Act decisive and in time to unexpected and rapidly changing situations in fishery.
  • Coordinate passengers: Meet with cruise ship passengers to help organise them for off-vessel excursions. Guide guests on excursions, such as sport fishing, hikes, and beachcombing. Assist with embarking and disembarking guests, staff, and crew.
  • Adapt to changes on a boat: Acclimate to a constant change in work and living environments on boats by adapting one’s behaviour and perspective on various tasks and responsibilities.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Operate stowage programmes: Operate stowage programmes used for controlling stability in vessels, loading operations, and cargo planning processes. Interpret graphical interfaces, stowage data and scenario variables.
  • Communicate clearly with passengers: Speak clearly in addressing travellers; communicate information related to their itinerary. Make announcements to passengers upon approaching the prescribed destination.
  • Prepare fishing equipment: Dispose fishing gear and ship’s deck for successful extraction activities. Coordinate the crew in this operation.
  • Undertake continuous professional development in fishery operations: Initiate and progress in life long learning of the different challenging activities and operations which take place on board of a fishing vessel or in an aquaculture facility.
  • Communicate in an outdoor setting: Communicate with participants in more than one language of the European Union; handle a crisis following guidelines and recognise the importance of proper behaviour in crisis situations.
  • Handle challenging situations in fishery operations: Cope with and face harsh circumstance at sea by keeping pre-set goals and deadlines in mind. Tackle frustrations such as the loss of revenue and catch.
  • Cope with challenging circumstances in the fishery sector: Adapt to changing circumstances in a positive way and stay calm under stressful situations while performing fishery operations.
  • Work in a multicultural environment in fishery: Interact and communicate with individuals and groups from different cultures and backgrounds in fishery operations.
  • Manage time in fishery operations: Ensure an efficient management of work schedules meant for fishery and aquaculture activities.
  • Use maritime English: Communicate in English employing language used in actual situations on board ships, in ports and elsewhere in the shipping chain.
  • Read stowage plans: Read and comprehend content of stowage plans; basic knowledge of how to stow various types of cargo.
  • Be friendly to passengers: Engage with passengers according to the expectations of contemporary social behaviour, the specific situation, and the code of conduct of the organisation. Communicate in a polite and clear way.
  • Identify the factors causing changes in food during storage: recognize the most relevant factors (chemical, physical, environmental etc) that can alter the food during its storage
  • Operate ship rescue machinery: Operate rescue boats and survival craft. Launch the boats as required and operate their equipment. Take care of survivors and survival craft after abandoning ship. Use electronic devices to track and communicate location, including communications and signalling apparatus and pyrotechnics.

ISCO group and title

6222 – Inland and coastal waters fishery workers

  1. Fisheries boatman – ESCO
Last updated on October 24, 2022

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