Deck and Fishing Hand

Deck and Fishing Hands assist in collecting fish and other sea life, and uphold high standards for operations and equipment on ships. They may be required to go out to sea for long periods at a time and to assist ships in loading and docking. They need to have strong knowledge of life at sea and know various fishing procedures and techniques.

Duties and tasks

  • Assist in navigating ships course and watch for changes in sea and weather
  • Facilitate operation and equipment needed to dock and depart
  • Haul in and sort desired fish in the catch, remove unwanted fish and objects, wash and preserve fish and store catch until returning to land
  • Maintain equipment on the ship, including deck equipment, safety devices, cargo and rigging equipment and conduct routine checks to ensure quality
  • Properly use of all ropes, lines and equipment on board and adhere to safety standards and precautions
  • Safeguard docked ships to prevent theft or destruction of ships or cargo
  • Set and cast nets, lines and traps used to catch various fish and marine life
  • Understand techniques used in mass fishing operations

Skills required

  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Fishing Techniques
  • Physical Fitness
  • Problem Solving Capabilities
  • Strong Leadership Skills

Working conditions

Deck and Fishing Hands typically work outdoors in sometimes harsh circumstances. They may work rotating shifts at ports or long days on fishing boats. In addition, they may be required to be at sea for weeks to months at a time depending on the routes and needs of the ship. This is a physically demanding job, requiring heavy lifting.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Shipowners Association 

Related jobs and job titles

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  • Coxswain
  • Domestic / Commercial Cleaner
  • Ferry Hand
  • Fish Farm Hand
  • Ships Officer