Free Courses for New Entrants


“Great course, all instructors appeared knowledgeable, patient and very approachable” 2016 trainee

The Seafish three-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing course is for new entrants to the fishing industry. The course consists of two weeks shore-based training (covering safety, gear and catch handling, net mending, rope work and navigation) and one week of mandatory safety courses (Sea Survival, Fire Fighting, First Aid, Health and Safety) and the Seafish Basic Fishing Vessel Stability course.

At the end of the course, there will be a placement with local skippers or fishing industry associations to allow candidates the opportunity to undertake between 1 and 5 day`s work experience.

Immediately following this course students can look for berths on suitable fishing vessels so that they can go to sea and put their new-found knowledge into practice and gain practical experience of fishing.

This induction course will suit both youngsters looking for a career at sea in the fishing industry and older candidates who are looking for a career change and interested in commercial fishing as an occupation.

Cost: Free (Subject to eligibility: applicants need to be at least 16 years old and have no previous fishing experience).

Next Course Dates:  July 2020 tbc

You can download an application form for the course here:  

Course Aim and Objectives
The aim of this three week course is to provide new entrants with the basic skills to begin working at sea in a safe and useful manner. More specifically the course objectives are:

  • To reduce accidents amongst new entrants and better prepare them for work at sea.
  • Give a better understanding of operational practices in every day fishing operations, including mechanical handling (such as winches), to create a safer workplace.
  • To equip new entrants with the basic skills needed to enable them to positively contribute to the daily work routines and tasks associated with working as part of a team on the deck of a fishing vessel.
  • To acquire work experience on board suitable local vessels.

Course Content:
This course is essentially a collection of short courses and comprises of the units listed below.

Introduction and Overview of the Course
On Board Procedures
Introduction to Ropes, Knots and Fishing Gear
Net mending and Gear construction
Watch Keeping and Navigation
Basic Engineering
Intermediate Knots and Splicing
Boat Handling
Basic Care of the Catch
Intro Food Hygiene in the Seafood Industry
Basic Sea Survival
Basic Health & Safety
Basic First Aid
Basic Fire Fighting
Basic Fishing Vessel Stability

If you wish to start a career at sea and go fishing in the meantime, you will need to complete the four mandatory basic safety courses as detailed on our fishermen’s training page.

More information on starting a career in the fishing industry can be found here via the Seafish website Fishing as a Career

To attend the taster session or book your place on the course, call 01736 364324 or email 


Based in your local port, the course will consist of 2 days of shore-based training (covering boat operations, catch handling, rope work and safety) and one day for the mandatory STCW Sea Survival safety course.

Successful candidates who go into the fishing industry will be encouraged to return and complete the 3 Week Seafish Introduction to Commercial Fishing course.

Next Course Dates: 9 to 11 March 2020

You can download an application form for the course here:  Fishermen’s Training Registration Form