By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
HomeA-Z IndexSubscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Employment in the Fisheries Sector

The seafood industry supports the economic viability of many coastal communities, directly generating or supporting approximately 11,000 jobs. This includes full and part time/casual employment in the fisheries, aquaculture, seafood processing and ancillary services sectors and is based on the most recent BIM survey data available.


Figure 11.4 below gives the distribution of employment throughout the country in the overall fisheries sector.


BIM trains new entrants and up-skills existing practitioners in the catching, fish farming and seafood processing sectors. Training courses are delivered at BIM’s National Fisheries College, Greencastle, Co. Donegal, the Regional Fisheries Centre, Castletownbere, Co. Cork, on BIM’s mobile Coastal Training Units and at its Seafood Development Centre at Clonakilty, Co. Cork. BIM’s Strategy 2010 – 2012 commits the organisation to provide 3,500 training places to all sectors of the Irish seafood industry over the 3 year period.

Sea Fisheries Training

Training for new entrants to sea fisheries includes the FETAC Certificate in Commercial Fishing and the Department of Transport (DoT) Engineer Officer Class 3 Certificate of Competency. BIM also provides progressive higher level training courses leading to the full range of Department of Transport deck and engineer officer fishing Certificates of Competency. The required skills are imparted through a combination of traditional classroom methods, practical demonstration, electronic simulation and multi media techniques to enable course participants function safely in the capacity of DoT certificated Skipper, Second Hand and Engineer or as a fishing vessel crewmember. Conservation technology, environmental awareness and fish quality requirements are an integral part of the training.

Aquaculture Training

The FETAC Certificate in Aquaculture is designed for new entrants and existing fish farm workers alike. In addition, a number of specialist modular courses are also available, ranging from a basic training module providing new entrants with a foundation in finfish and shellfish farming methods, to higher skilled training courses suited to those who already have experience of fish farming or wish to learn about seaweed on-growing techniques. Engineering, power boat handling, farmed fish welfare and safety skills are also taught to fish farm personnel.

Safety Training

Basic Safety Training is a mandatory legal requirement for all fishing vessel crewmembers and is strongly recommended for aquaculture vessel operators, as it has been proven to have saved lives since its introduction in 2002. The Basic Safety Training course consists of Personal Survival Techniques, Elementary First Aid, Fire Prevention and Safety Awareness, completion of which leads to a BIM Safety Card. In addition, BIM provides 3 and 5-day marine fire fighting courses to STCW-95[2] standards in a purpose built Department of Transport approved facility in Greencastle and GMDSS[3] radio communications training is delivered in all DoT approved maritime training centres.

Seafood Processing Training

BIM offers short one-day workshops as an introduction to the basic principles of hygiene and HACCP in the context of seafood processing at sea and onshore. Many who attend these workshops go on to study the FETAC accredited courses in Seafood Hygiene Management, Risk-Based HACCP for Seafood and Auditing Seafood Businesses.

BIM Seafood Development Centre (SDC)

BIM’s Seafood Development Centre (SDC) was opened by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Mr. Brendan Smith in Clonakilty in October 2009.

Currently approximately 85% of Irish seafood is sold in commodity form. The BIM Seafood Development Centre (SDC) in Clonakilty is the first dedicated seafood development facility in Ireland. The SDC seeks to increase the value added seafood offerings and will play a pivotal role in maximising the potential of indigenous Irish Seafood through a market-led innovation approach which seeks to add an additional €100 million worth of new seafood products over the next five years. It will also assist in the creation of seafood company start-ups through the provision of supported incubation spaces.

[2]International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seagoing Personnel, 1995.

[3]Global Maritime Distress and Safety System