Fishermen/women

(NOC 8262)

in All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

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.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 565 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 910 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. However, jobseekers may face some competition for those positions. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. (yet overall job prospects are still considered limited). With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Fishermen/women most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common.

The median employment income for 13% of Fishermen/women who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $58,652. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$11.15

Minimum

$20.00

Median

$33.33

Maximum

Annual Pay

$9,719

Minimum

$40,522

Median

$100,544

Maximum

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

Hourly Pay

$10.85

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.88

Maximum

Annual Pay

$4,009

Minimum

$23,520

Median

$87,170

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

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.

Job duties

Fishermen/women perform 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.

Sample job titles

  • fisherman/woman
  • fishing vessel skipper
  • handliner fisherman/woman
  • lobster fisherman/woman
  • shellfish fisherman/woman
  • shellfish harvester operator

Skills

To work in these jobs, you need good eyesight and health. Physical strength may be necessary. You may be exposed to extreme weather conditions and varying climates. You must also be willing to travel for long periods at a time.

Job requirements

  • A commercial fishing licence is required.
  • Licences are required for each species of fish pursued.

Other considerations

Most workers in these jobs actively fish for only part of each year. As well, work in these jobs is seasonal with employment peaking in the summer months. When fishing, most work for more than 50 hours per week. An individual's earnings will depend upon a number of factors, such as the type of boat and equipment used, the species sought, the allotted quota, and the market price for the catch. Progression to master or mate on fishing vessels over 100 gross tonnes is possible with additional training, licensing and experience. Several years of experience as fishing vessel crew member or helper are usually required.

By the numbers

Quick look

4,865

employed in 2016

90.6%

employed full-time

29.7%

self employed

10.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
90%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.7

median age

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

14,665

employed in 2016

84.0%

employed full-time

22.0%

self employed

15.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.6

median age

Where will I likely work?

51.0%

Southern

22.9%

Cape Breton

14.3%

Northern

8.5%

Halifax

3.2%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

93.1%

Fishing

5.4%

Food and Beverage Product Manufacturing

0.7%

Wholesale Trade

0.3%

Agriculture

0.2%

Other Services

What is the age of Employment?

31.5%

55-64

29.7%

45-54

16.2%

35-44

9.1%

65+

8.6%

25-34

4.8%

15-24

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

42.3%

45-54

26.1%

55-64

18.9%

35-44

8.1%

25-34

3.6%

65+

Top levels of education

42.3%

Less than high school

$48,732 median annual income
27.3%

High school

$59,713 median annual income
13.9%

Trades certificate

$59,047 median annual income
13.4%

College certificate or diploma

$53,834 median annual income
2.1%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Farming, Fishing, Forestry, and Mining

34.0%

Less than high school

$14,445 median annual income
31.5%

High school

$14,229 median annual income
14.3%

College certificate or diploma

$21,289 median annual income
14.0%

Trades certificate

$19,107 median annual income
4.3%

Bachelor's degree

$15,980 median annual income

Education & training

There is no information to display in this section

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Maritime Fishermen's Union
408 Main Street
Shediac, NB E4P 2G1
Tel: (506) 532-2485
Fax: (506) 532-2487
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nova Scotia Licensing Service Centre
P.O. Box 1035
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4T3
Tel: (902) 426-9966
Fax: (902) 426-5010
Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council
38B John St, Suite 1
Yarmouth, NS B5A 3H2
Tel: (902) 742-6167
Fax: (902) 742-8391
Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
1800 Argyle Street, 6th floor (Suite 607)
Halifax, NS B3J 2R5
Tel: (902) 424-4560
Fax: (902) 424-4671

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

Twinehand / Fishing Vessel Deckhand

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