Fisheries Officer

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Boating and Fisheries Patrol Officer
Fisheries Observer

 

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Fisheries officers are responsible for the management, conservation and preservation of state and territory fishery resources. They work to make sure that these resources are not endangered or over-exploited. Future Growth Static

Fisheries officers patrol and examine waterways for illegal fishing activities and the taking/destruction of protected marine life. This may involve inspecting ships, fishing equipment and processing organisations. They need to compile reports and may be required to give evidence in court. They may also be involved in education, research or other clerical duties. They could also be involved in/with assisting beached whales, the pearling industry, shark nets or monitoring fish and their habitats.

Specialisations: The duties of fisheries officers vary greatly across the states and territories. The type of work they do often depends on the size and type of commercial fishing and related industries in their region. Fisheries officers may also serve as fisheries observers on naval patrol boats, or they may be responsible for wildlife protection.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • physically fit
  • normal colour vision
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • enjoy outdoor work.



Duties and Tasks

Fisheries officers may perform the following tasks: Fisheries Inspector measuring

  • patrol and investigate waterways for unlawful fishing activities and the removal of protected marine life
  • make sure that relevant laws and regulations are obeyed
  • inspect fishing vessels, fishing gear and processing establishments to ensure compliance
  • survey oyster, pearling, fishing and prawning leases to make sure that regulations are observed
  • advise industry personnel on fishing regulations, export standards and the renewal of fishing licences
  • check that fish are sold through legal markets and that fish markets do not sell undersized fish
  • investigate alleged breaches of legislation
  • prepare reports and provide evidence in court when required
  • assist in the supervision of shark nets
  • identify, survey and monitor areas and activities that affect fish and their habitats
  • promote marine management programs and policies
  • educate, advise and provide information on a wide range of topics relating to fish and their protection
  • assist other agencies by responding to emergency situations such as oil spills and the beaching of whales
  • provide assistance in research programs
  • keep vessels and equipment in good order
  • produce statistical reports and undertake other clerical duties.
  • may initiate or assist in legal action to enforce regulations.



Working Conditions

Fisheries officers are required to wear uniforms. They work irregular hours, including weekends, public holidays and nights. They are often required to move around the state or territory and may be absent from their headquarters for long periods. They work in all weather conditions and may have to sleep in vehicles, tents or boats.


Tools and technologies


Fisheries officers need to have a current C class driver’s licence. A boat licence would be highly desirable.

 

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a fisheries officer in Queensland, SA and Victoria, you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a fisheries officer through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. In NSW and WA, you usually need to complete training with the relevant government department. In Tasmania, you can work as a marine and rescue officer with Tasmania Police or as an inland fisheries enforcement officer with the Inland Fisheries Service. To work as a marine and rescue officer, applicants must first become qualified police officers. Fisheries officer does not exist as a separate occupation in the NT. This role is performed by sworn officers of the NT Police. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree in fisheries and aquaculture, criminal justice, criminology, environmental science, environmental management or a related area. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional Information

Depending on your state, you may be required to hold a drivers licence and boating licence. You may also need to be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency, undergo a National Police Check, hold a Provide First Aid Certificate, undergo a medical assessment or obtain a Coxswains Certificate. Applicants may be required to pass a swimming test or hold a swimming certificate or licence. See the separate entry for Lifeguard for more information. (Source: Good Universities Guide)

Employment Opportunities

Fisheries officers are employed by state or territory governments in fisheries or primary industries departments. Entry to this occupation is very competitive. With experience, and further training, fisheries officers may move into professional science positions or into general management.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) is the government agency responsible for the efficient management and sustainable use of Commonwealth fish resources on behalf of the Australian community. Officers performing duties on behalf of AFMA may be required to perform duties anywhere in Australia.

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