Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Michael Bohane from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Michael Bohane

QA Manager

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Michael Bohane
Be prepared for responsibility and the rewards and problems that come with responsibility. It is very important to be comfortable making decisions and living with them. While it is impossible to be right all of the time the majority of decisions you make have to be correct.

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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At a Glance... header image

Works on a trawler at sea, catching and landing all kinds of fish and shellfish.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 3

Ivan Toole & Paul O'Sullivan
Fisherman / Skipper  

Ivan Toole is a Fisherman based in Dun Laoghaire, fishing mostly crab, lobster and whelk. Paul works with a team of up to three people on board the fishing vessel.

Paul O’Sullivan is a Skipper in his local area of Castletownbere. He is currently completing his Skipper Full course with BIM which will allow him to fish in a boat of any size globally.

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Noel O'Sullivan
Noel O'Sullivan is a Skipper working out of Castletownbere in County Cork. He went to fishing college and holds his Skipper Licience. Noel owns his own boat and operated with a crew. He stresses the importance of training in the area of emergency, first aid and fire.
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Alan O'Neill

Alan O'Neill is a Skipper working out of Castletownbere in Cork and has his final Skippers Licience. This entitles him to skipper a boat up to 50m and allows him to skipper any fishing vessel worldwide. This ticket allows you more career pathways as you have a wider boat base to choose from.

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The Work header image

While the general pattern of fishing is that boats leave for the fishing ground in the early morning and return the same evening, many of the larger vessels stay at sea for longer periods.  
The Skipper or the Second-Hand normally attends to the navigation of the vessel while the Fishing Vessel Engineer maintains the engine. Electronic systems such as radio transmitters, navigating and fish locating equipment are used.  
The shooting and the hauling of the nets is carried out by the Deck-hands who are also responsible for the gutting, washing, grading and icing of the fish and general up-keep of the vessel. All members of crews are very aware of safety drills and are capable of swift action in the event of an emergency at sea.  
When confined to port during bad weather or for engine repairs, the crew are occupied in the maintenance of the vessel and the repair of nets. 

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Steer vessels and operate navigational instruments.


Put fishing equipment into the water and anchor or tow equipment, according to the fishing method used.


Maintain engines, fishing gear, and other on-board equipment; and perform minor repairs.


Sort, pack, and store catch in holds with salt and ice.


Remove catches from fishing equipment and measure them to ensure compliance with legal size.


Locate fish, using fish-finding equipment.


Return undesirable or illegal catches to the water.


Pull and guide nets, traps, and lines onto vessels, by hand or using hoisting equipment.


Direct fishing operations, and supervise fishing crew members.


Signal other workers to move, hoist, and position loads.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).


Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment:  Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.


Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment:  Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.


Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others:  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others:  Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Food Production:  Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.


Mechanical:  Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Transportation:  Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.


Geography:  Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.


Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Management of Personnel Resources:   Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Negotiation:   Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Operation and Control:   Controlling operations of equipment or systems.


Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Repairing:   Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Fishermen/women need to be strong individuals who enjoy an outdoor life and can work as part of a team. Primarily you must be a good seaman/woman, able to turn your hands to a wide variety of tasks, use your initiative and react swiftly in an emergency.  
Even small boats now employ sophisticated technology, such as electronic position finding and fish locating equipment, as well as modern mechanical handling gear, so you need to be able to understand and operate technical equipment.  
On small vessels, local knowledge, experience and instinct are required to locate and make successful catches. You need good health, stamina and good vision.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Fisheries officer - from:  GradIreland
Go..Fishing Vessel Deckhand - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)
  Address: Crofton House, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  Tel: (01) 214 4100
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  Address: Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 607 2000 Lo Call 1890 200 510
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Eastern Regional Fisheries Board
  Address: 15a Main Street, Blackrock, Dublin
  Tel: (01) 278 7022
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture

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