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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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83121 – Fishermen/women

Fishermen/women operate fishing vessels less than 100 gross tonnes to pursue and land fish and other marine life. They are usually self-employed owner-operators of fishing vessels.


Example titles

  • Fisherman/woman
  • Fishing vessel skipper
  • Inshore fisherman/woman
  • Lobster fisherman/woman
  • Longliner fisherman/woman
  • Seiner fisherman/woman
  • Seaweed dragger
  • Shellfish harvester operator

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate fishing vessel to pursue and catch fish and other marine life
  • Select area for fishing, plot courses and compute navigational positions using compasses and charts or electronic fishing aids
  • Steer vessel and operate navigational instruments
  • Operate fishing gear, direct fishing operation and supervise fishing crew members
  • Maintain engine, fishing gear and other on-board equipment
  • Record fishing activities, weather and sea conditions
  • Estimate costs of operations and plan budget for each fishing season
  • Establish fish marketing plan and keep records of all financial transactions
  • May transport fish to processing plants or fish buyers.

Employment requirements

  • Several years of experience as fishing vessel crew member or helper are usually required.
  • Marine Emergency Duties Certificate is required by Transport Canada.
  • A valid Fishing Vessel Operator Certificate is required.
  • A commercial fishing licence is required.
  • Licences are required for each species of fish pursued.
  • Trade certification for fish harvesters is available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Additional information

  • Progression to master or mate on fishing vessels over 100 gross tonnes is possible with additional training, licensing and experience.


  • Fishing masters and officers (83120)
  • Fishing vessel deckhands (84121)

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
8 – Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations
3 – Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of less than two years; or more than six months of on-the-job training
Major group
83 – Occupations in natural resources and related production
Sub-major group
831 – Occupations in natural resources and fisheries
Minor group
8312 – Fishing vessel masters and fishermen/women
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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