Commercial Fisher Job Description [Updated for 2024]

commercial fisher job description

In the ever-expanding global economy, the demand for commercial fishers is more relevant than ever.

As the world’s reliance on seafood and aquatic resources continues to grow, the call for skilled individuals who can efficiently navigate, harvest, and conserve our marine resources is louder.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a commercial fisher?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to comprehend the scope of this role,
  • A hiring manager delineating the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the operations of commercial fishing,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we reveal a customizable commercial fisher job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Commercial Fisher Duties and Responsibilities

Commercial Fishers engage in various activities related to catching, processing, and selling fish and other aquatic species.

They often work in challenging environments and have to adhere to local and international fishing laws and regulations.

The duties and responsibilities of a Commercial Fisher include:

  • Operating fishing gear to catch fish and other marine life
  • Maintaining and repairing fishing gear and equipment
  • Navigating fishing vessels to fishing areas and back to ports
  • Sorting, packing, and storing catch in holds with salt and ice
  • Monitoring and maintaining the quality and freshness of the catch
  • Keeping record of the species, size and number of fish caught
  • Abiding by the fishing laws and regulations, including size limits and catch quotas
  • Keeping the fishing vessel clean and ensuring it is in good working order
  • Communicating with other fishing vessels and the coast guard as needed
  • Marketing and selling the catch to wholesalers, direct to restaurants or at fish markets


Commercial Fisher Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are in search of a skilled commercial fisher to join our team.

The successful candidate will have knowledge of various fishing methods, experience in operating fishing equipment, and an understanding of navigational and safety guidelines.

Responsibilities include catching fish and other marine life for commercial purposes, maintaining fishing equipment, and adhering to all fishing regulations.



  • Operating fishing equipment to catch fish and other marine life
  • Navigating the sea using compasses, charts, and electronic navigational equipment
  • Maintaining and repairing fishing gear and equipment
  • Sorting, packing and storing catch in holds with salt and ice
  • Measuring fish to ensure legal size
  • Keeping records of catches, weather conditions, and any other relevant information
  • Adhering to all marine laws and regulations
  • Ensuring the safety of the crew



  • Proven work experience as a commercial fisher
  • Knowledge of different fishing methods and equipment
  • Ability to work in various weather conditions
  • Good physical condition and endurance
  • Understanding of marine navigation and safety
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • High school diploma or equivalent. Further certifications may be required



  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Commercial Fisher
  • Work Environment: Mostly outdoors and at sea. Exposure to various weather conditions and may involve extended periods away from home.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Fishing Vessel Captain or Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $25,000 minimum to $50,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Commercial Fisher Do?

Commercial Fishers work in the fishing industry, primarily for seafood companies, but also as self-employed individuals.

They are engaged in the capture of fish and other aquatic species from the sea, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water for human consumption or use in various industries.

Commercial Fishers use various types of fishing equipment and techniques such as nets, lines, traps, and pots.

They also use sophisticated navigation and fish-finding equipment to locate their catch.

These fishers need to have a good understanding of different fish species, their habitats, and the best times to catch them.

Their responsibilities also include maintaining their fishing vessels and equipment, ensuring all safety measures are in place, and adhering to fishing regulations and quotas to maintain sustainable fishing practices.

In addition to catching fish, Commercial Fishers may also prepare the catch by gutting and freezing it, or even packaging it for sale.

They may sell their catch directly to consumers, processors, wholesalers, or at fish markets.

Furthermore, they need to keep accurate records of their catches, maintenance work, and fishing trips to ensure compliance with local, regional, and international fishing laws and regulations.

This job often requires physical strength, resilience, and the ability to work under challenging weather and sea conditions.


Commercial Fisher Qualifications and Skills

Commercial Fishers require a unique set of skills and qualifications to successfully perform their job duties, including:

  • Physical strength and stamina to manage heavy fishing equipment and work for extended periods often in challenging weather conditions.
  • Knowledge of different species of fish, their habits and habitats to increase chances of a successful catch.
  • Proficiency in using navigation and fish-finding equipment to locate fish and ensure the safe operation of the fishing vessel.
  • Teamwork skills to work effectively with other crew members in a confined space and under stressful conditions.
  • Problem-solving skills to respond quickly and effectively to unexpected situations or equipment failure.
  • Understanding of safety procedures and regulations to ensure the well-being of all crew members and the sustainability of fish stocks.
  • Ability to maintain and repair fishing gear and equipment to ensure operational readiness.
  • Patience and perseverance, as fishing operations can often be a waiting game and success is not always guaranteed.


Commercial Fisher Experience Requirements

To start a career as a Commercial Fisher, some employers may require a high school diploma or its equivalent.

However, most of the skills in this field are usually gained through hands-on experiences and on-the-job training.

Many Commercial Fishers start their careers with no experience, learning the ropes as deckhands on fishing vessels, gradually gaining the necessary experience and knowledge of the fishing techniques, navigation, safety procedures, and equipment maintenance.

Some employers prefer candidates with at least 1 to 2 years of experience in the fishing industry, often gained through seasonal work or internships.

This experience can provide a good understanding of the operations, safety regulations, and physical demands of the role.

Commercial Fishers with more than 3 years of experience are likely to have developed advanced skills, such as deep-sea fishing techniques, navigation, and equipment repair, making them strong candidates for positions on larger vessels or roles with higher responsibilities.

Those with more than 5 years of experience may have demonstrated leadership skills and have the potential to step into supervisory roles such as Fishing Boat Captains or Crew Chiefs.

In addition, they may have the knowledge to handle complex tasks such as managing crew, maintaining logs, planning fishing excursions, and complying with fishing regulations.


Commercial Fisher Education and Training Requirements

Commercial Fishers often require a high school diploma or equivalent education.

They are trained through on-the-job training which can last for several months, wherein they learn about fishing gear operation, sea navigation, and safety procedures.

While formal education isn’t typically required, some commercial fishers choose to attend vocational schools or community colleges that offer courses in seamanship, vessel operations, marine safety, navigation, vessel repair, and fishing gear technology.

An understanding of marine ecology and fish behavior can be beneficial, and can be gained through marine biology and environmental science classes or related courses.

In many countries, commercial fishers require a fishing license, the requirements for which vary by location but generally include being of a certain age and having completed safety training.

Advanced training, such as a captain’s license or marine engineering certification, may be necessary for those who want to captain their own vessel or work on larger boats.

This typically involves passing a written exam, demonstrating practical skills, and meeting certain sea service requirements.

In this occupation, practical skills and experience in the field are highly valued.

It is also crucial for commercial fishers to maintain up-to-date knowledge of safety procedures and regulations to ensure the well-being of themselves and their crew.


Commercial Fisher Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Commercial Fisher is approximately $28,530 (USD) per year.

However, actual earnings can greatly vary depending on the location, the type of fishing being done, and the success of individual fishing trips.

A highly successful Commercial Fisher may earn significantly more.


Commercial Fisher Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Commercial Fisher need?

Commercial Fishers should have physical stamina and strength as the job often involves lifting heavy equipment and enduring harsh weather conditions.

They also need to be knowledgeable about different species of fish, fishing gear, and navigational instruments.

Additionally, they should have excellent hand-eye coordination for casting nets and reeling in fish, and good observational skills to locate fish.


Do Commercial Fishers need specific qualifications?

While a degree is not usually required, a high school diploma or equivalent is generally preferred.

Commercial Fishers often gain their skills through on-the-job training.

However, formal training programs in areas such as sea navigation, safety procedures, and equipment maintenance can be beneficial.

Some states may also require Commercial Fishers to have a fishing license.


What should you look for in a Commercial Fisher’s resume?

When reviewing a Commercial Fisher’s resume, look for experience in commercial fishing operations, including the use of various fishing equipment.

Training or certificates in marine safety, navigation, or first aid can also be advantageous.

Other valuable skills might include mechanical aptitude, the ability to swim, and experience in operating boats.


What qualities make a good Commercial Fisher?

A good Commercial Fisher is patient and persistent, as fishing often involves long hours with potential periods of little activity.

They should be physically fit to withstand the demands of the job and have a good understanding of safety procedures to minimize risks.

Good Commercial Fishers also have a strong sense of responsibility and are capable of making quick decisions in challenging situations.


What are the daily duties of a Commercial Fisher?

A Commercial Fisher’s daily duties might include preparing fishing equipment, navigating fishing vessels to fishing grounds, casting nets or lines, and hauling in catches.

They also sort, pack, and store the catch in the hold with ice, maintain the fishing vessel and equipment, and adhere to fishing regulations and conservation measures.

Also, they may need to record details of their catch and report to relevant authorities.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve cast our nets into the vast ocean of what it means to be a commercial fisher.

Guess what?

It’s not just about catching fish.

It’s about navigating the high seas, one wave at a time.

With our reliable commercial fisher job description template and real-life examples, you’re all set to set sail.

But why limit your voyage?

Expand your horizon with our job description generator. It’s your compass to meticulously crafted listings or refining your resume to excellence.


Each wave you ride is a part of the bigger journey.

Let’s navigate that future. Together.

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