Shipping goods and people puts you inevitably in contact with people and places outside Ireland. Dealing with passengers, customs, loading staff in ports, harbour staff, and the crew requires a knowledge of how things are done in Rotterdam or Cherbourg. Language skills are needed in this international setting.
Some shipping services specialise in international trade services and have staff to provide freight forwarding and customs brokerage services to the customers in their native language. They deal with the non-English speaking customers providing translation services with other expert staff members, or assist with the translation and understanding of complicated customs and freight documentation. Cruise ships offer a working environment where staff interact with both passengers and crew speaking different languages.
On a fishing boat or a super trawler you don’t need language skills to talk to the fish, but you are likely to have a mixed international crew with you. If you are the skipper, having an ability to communicate working vocabulary with the crew is a way to show them you understand their background.
Fishing as a leisure activity draws tourists to Ireland, groups from France and elsewhere may come every year to enjoy Irish fishing. Your ability to connect with them is an advantage.
Mussels and oystersare part of the Irish seafood business, worth €300 million annually. With competition by other countries, Ireland needs to not just produce a quality product with unique qualities but also do the marketing well. Foreign languages aimed at the right target market will help. Language skills are part of the chain in the process in getting Irish mussels to people’s plates.