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Becoming a Fisherman

Are you thinking of becoming a fisherman? Find out what training courses you need and a bit more about the different types of fishing you can do....


It is important to remember that the hours and pay of a fisherman are set by the weather, the tide, and the season. You could be fishing for two weeks straight and then not be able to go out to sea for a month! 

There are no set hours on a fishing boat because of this. 

Most boats operate on a "share" system where the crew get a % of the sale of the catch. This means the more you catch the more you get paid- which is good when you can get out to sea but bad for periods of bad weather. 

Fishermen are often counted as being self-employed which means you don't get any benefits such as sickness pay. 

It is also important to remember that the work doesn't stop when the boat lands- there is lots of work to be carried on onshore such as mending gear!

Fishing is a very rewarding job and is always interesting- each day is different and you never know what you might find! 

There are several steps to becoming a fisherman: 

  1. Find out what type of fishing you are most interested in- you can click on the images on the right to learn about the different types of fishing happening in Orkney. 

  2. Sign up for the mandatory training courses with the Orkney College (click here to find out more)

  3. Sign up for Sea Fish's safety course (click here to find out more)

  4. If you want to sell your catch you will need a commercial fishing licence. Make sure your licence is suitable for your area, vessel, and target species. Click here to contact your local Marine Scotland Fishery Office

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