Unlocking Opportunities: How to Land Your Dream Commercial Fishing Job

The Ultimate Guide: How to Get a Commercial Fishing Job


If you have ever dreamt of working on the open waters, surrounded by breathtaking views and an adventurous lifestyle, then getting a commercial fishing job might be the perfect career path for you. However, breaking into this industry can seem challenging.

1. Research and Understand the Industry

Before diving into your pursuit of a commercial fishing job, it is crucial to carry out comprehensive research about the industry. Gain insights into different types of fishing jobs available such as offshore or inshore and identify which one suits your preferences.

a) Types of Commercial Fishing Jobs

i) Offshore: These jobs involve deep-sea fishing operations that target larger fish species like tuna or swordfish.

ii) Inshore: With these positions, fishermen work closer to land catching smaller fish varieties like salmon or cod near coastal areas.

2. Acquire Relevant Skills and Experience

To increase your chances of landing a commercial fishing job successfully, it’s essential to acquire relevant skills through education or hands-on experience. Although prior experience is not always mandatory, possessing some basic knowledge will make you more attractive to potential employers.

a) Familiarize Yourself with Fishing Techniques

i) Netting techniques: Learn how different types of nets are used in various fisheries scenarios including trawling or gillnetting.

ii) Navigation skills: Understanding navigation systems such as GPS and radar can be invaluable when working on a vessel at sea.

b) Physical Fitness and Stamina

Fishing jobs require physical strength due to demanding tasks like lifting heavy equipment or standing for long periods in adverse weather conditions. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will boost your endurance.

3. Networking and Building Connections

In the commercial fishing industry, connections can significantly impact your chances of getting hired. Thus, it is vital to network with individuals already working in the field or attending industry-related events to build contacts.

a) Join Fishing Associations/Organizations

By becoming a member of fishing associations, you can attend conferences or seminars where you’ll meet professionals who may provide job leads or referrals.

4. Prepare an Impressive Resume/CV

Your resume plays a critical role when applying for any job, including commercial fishing positions. Ensure that it highlights relevant experience and skills while emphasizing qualities such as teamwork, adaptability, and problem-solving abilities.

a) Relevant Sections on Your Resume

  • Contact information: Include your name, address, phone number, email address.
  • Objective statement: State why you are interested in pursuing a career in commercial fishing.
  • Educational background: Highlight any relevant degrees or certifications obtained related to marine sciences or fisheries management.
  • Work experience: Mention previous jobs or internships demonstrating transferable skills like leadership or teamwork.
  • Skills section: List out technical skills like navigation systems proficiency along with physical strengths crucial for the job (e.g., lifting heavy loads).

5. Apply Strategically

To increase your chances of landing a commercial fishing job successfully:

a) Research Potential Employers

i) Local businesses: Search for local fishing companies near coastal areas where there is high demand for workers.
ii) Online platforms/job boards: Utilize reputable job websites specifically catering to the maritime industry.

b) Craft Tailored Cover Letters

Avoid generic cover letters; instead, personalize each application according to the specific fishing company’s values and needs. Highlight your skills, experience, and passion for commercial fishing.

6. Prepare for Interviews

Once you have submitted your applications, it’s crucial to prepare for potential interviews by:

a) Researching the Company

Familiarize yourself with the company’s history, their fleet of vessels, areas they operate in, and any recent news or achievements.

b) Anticipating Common Interview Questions

  • Tell us about your previous experience working on boats?
  • How do you handle stressful situations or long periods away from home?
  • What safety protocols are essential while at sea?


Landing a commercial fishing job requires dedication and perseverance. By researching the industry thoroughly, acquiring relevant skills/experience,
networking effectively,
crafting an impressive resume/CV,
and strategically targeting potential employers;
you can increase your chances of embarking on an exciting career in commercial fishing.
With determination and proper preparation,
your dreams of working on the open waters can become a reality!