Fisheries officers monitor, manage and protect farmed and wild fish stocks and the rivers, lakes and other habitats where they live.
Freshwater fisheries work involves conducting field surveys, including fish stocks, and carrying out technical project work. They also advise members of the public and industry about sustainable fishing and promote angling as a recreational activity.
Marine (or sea) fisheries officers manage, regulate, develop and protect the fisheries and work to sustain the marine environment. This includes inspecting fishing vessels at sea and enforcing technical conservation measures for juvenile and spawning fish.
- undertaking investigative surveys of water quality and the health, spawning and movement of fish
- policing waterways to check for unlawful fishing
- liaising with the planning departments of local authorities about the location of new buildings etc
- checking anglers’ licences
- writing reports
- preparing evidence and statements for prosecution cases
- catching, measuring, examining and releasing fish and assessing their health
- making improvements to habitats through work on streams and river banks
- providing advice about the location of fish stock
- handling general enquiries from the public
- granting licences to move fish
- working with other organizations and agencies to plan environmental projects
- offering information and advice to sports fisheries about legal/importation restrictions
- keeping up to date with changes in legislation
Fisheries officers usually need a degree in a relevant scientific subject, such as: marine sciences, aquaculture, biology, fisheries science/management, ecology, environmental science, oceanography, zoology or agriculture. Gaining a relevant postgraduate qualification is helpful for candidates who are interested in getting a research post.
- an interest in improving the environment
- an interest in fish and fishing
- good people skills
- the ability to analyze and interpret data
- a practical disposition
- a driving licence is useful for inland work, and boat-handling experience is helpful for marine work.