We are one of the leading providers of Seafish, SQA, MCA and STCW Commercial Fishing courses in the UK and have been providing training for fishermen for over 25 years. Our experience means that we are able to guide and assist you in the correct choice of courses and provide advice on funding which may be available.
Before you can go to sea you must attend a 1-day Sea Survival Course.
Within 3 months of completing the Sea Survival course, you must complete the following 3 additional 1-day courses;
Alternatively, there is a 3-week course – Introduction to Commercial Fishing – which includes these four mandatory courses and training in the use of fishing gear, catch handling and watchkeeping amongst other things. For full details about the Introduction to Commercial Fishing course, how to register and for upcoming course dates, please click the link above. We run this course twice a year.
On successful completion of all 4 basic safety courses (sometimes referred to as fishermen’s safety training) you can apply for a New Entrant Certificate Photo-ID Card, a credit card sized document which verifies that you hold all 4 certificates.
After completing 6 months of service, you are required to attend a 1-day Safety Awareness course. This course MUST be completed within 2 years of starting fishing.
When you have 2 years of service and have completed all 5 safety courses you are classed as an Experienced Fisherman and can apply for an Experienced Fisherman’s Certificate Photo-ID Card which verifies these requirements.
As an experienced fisherman, you can progress towards the Seafish Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate. This is a voluntary qualification which is available at two levels, silver (restricted) and gold (unrestricted).
The Under 16.5m (Silver) Skipper’s Certificate entitles you to take control of a fishing vessel up to 20 miles offshore. To achieve this you must achieve the following additional qualifications;
2-day Stability Awareness (Seafish) (Consists of Stability Awareness for Experienced Fishermen and Advanced Stability Awareness)
2-day Bridge Watchkeeping (Seafish)
2-day Engine Room Watchkeeping (Seafish)
1-day GMDSS SRC (Or higher, we recommend the GMDSS ROC course as a higher level of qualification)
If you wish to achieve the gold (unrestricted) certificate need 2 further qualifications
Vessels over 16.5m
If you serve on a vessel over 16.5m whether as a skipper or a mate, you must hold an MCA Certificate of Competency depending on the areas of operation as follows;
N.B. We no longer offer the MCA Deck Officer certificates due to limited demand and an upcoming change in the requirements for fishing qualifications. Once the details of the new qualifications and training requirements are released we will publish full details here. In the meantime, if you require a Deck officer qualification, you should contact the Scottish Maritime Academy.
|Fishing Area||Length of Vessel||
– Class 1
|Deck Officer – Class 2||Deck Officer – Class 3|
|Unlimited||40m and over||2||1|
|Limited||30m and over||1||1|
|Limited||24 m or more but under 30m||1||1|
|Limited||16.5m or more but under 24m||1|
Limited qualifications are restricted to the UK limited fishing area.
To achieve an MCA CoC, you must pass an MCA Oral Exam. Once you have fulfilled the sea-service and training requirements and you can then apply for a Notice of Eligibility (NOE) using application form MSF4345 (we can help you with this). Once your NOE has been issued, you can apply for the Oral Exam.
Deck Officer – Class 3 – Fishing
Electronic Navigation Systems (ENS) Fishing
Fisherman’s Safety Training - The 4 basic safety training courses
GMDSS LRC or ROC
Deck Officer – Class 2 – Fishing
To obtain the Deck Officer - Class 2 - Fishing qualification, you must hold the following certificates;
|STCW Proficiency in Medical First Aid||This is a 4 day course which fishing skippers do not need to update this qualifications every 5 years in the same way that merchant navy candidates do|
|Electronic Navigation Systems (ENS) Fishing||This course has been superseded by the 4-week NAEST (O) course (Navigation Aids, Equipment and Simulator Training) which includes ECDIS.|
|Advanced Fire Fighting||This is a 2-day course which includes the use of fire fighting systems and breathing apparatus. It is not the same as the 4-day STCW advanced course required by Class 1 skippers. Fishing skippers do not need to update every 5 years|
|GMDSS GOC||This 8-day course is the highest level of commercial radio qualification available and will cover you for any radio equipment that you may use|
|Basic Survival Techniques||This is the same as the basic 1-day Sea Survival course. We teach STCW Personal Survival techniques course which fishermen are not required to update every 5 years|
|HELM (O) – Human Element, Leadership & Management||This is a 3-day course covering bridge and crew management|
|Signals Certificate||Taught as part of the Class 2 Fishing course|
|SQA Class 2 Fishing Exam Pass||Taught as part of the Class 2 Fishing course. The exams take place every 3 months|
You will also need to prove that you have 3 years sea time in an acceptable deck capacity, including 2 years on vessels over 12m in length, and pass a colour blindness check.
Deck Officer – Class 1 – Fishing
To progress to the Deck Officer – Class 1 – Fishing qualification, you must hold the following certificates in addition to those listed above for the Class 2 ticket.
|STCW Proficiency in Medical Care||This is a 5-day course which must be updated every 5 years|
|Navigation Control Course (Fishing) (NCC)||This course has been superseded by NAEST (M)|
|Advanced Fire Fighting||This is a 4-day STCW course. Fishermen are not required to update it every 5 years|
|SQA Class 1 Fishing Exam Pass||SQA Class 1 fishing exams take place every 3 months|
You will also need to prove that you have the required sea service (see below) and pass a colour blindness check before you can apply for your MCA Oral Exam.
Sea Service Requirements for Class 1 Fishing – This must be completed whilst holding the Deck Officer – Class 2 - Fishing
12 months in fishing vessels over 12m in unlimited waters
12 months in fishing vessels over 12m in limited waters AND 6 months in fishing vessels over 12m in unlimited waters
2 years in fishing vessels in limited waters (at the discretion of the MCA Chief Examiner)
Commercial Fishing Course List
Introduction to Commercial Fishing - Seafish - 3-weeks - Includes all 4 of the basic training courses.
Vessels Under 16.5m
Under 16.5m Skipper's Ticket (Currently via Seafish Online training, contact us for details)
Watchkeeping and Navigation - Seafish - 5-days - RYA Yachtmaster Offshore accepted as an alternative
Vessels Over 16.5m
Class 2 MCA CoC