Fisheries officer

What they do

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.

Working conditions

A fisheries officer may work irregular hours including weekends, public holidays and evenings. They may often have to travel around the State and may need to weather uncomfortable conditions, for example sleeping in a vehicle or tent. They will be required to work in all weather conditions. They usually wear a uniform.

Tools and technologies

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

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a fisheries officer in Western Australia, you must apply to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and pass the recruitment process and complete their training program.

Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or Permanent Residents and hold a ‘C’ Class driver’s licence.

Applicants need to pass medical and physical assessments including a swimming test and must be prepared to accept postings to areas in any region of the State, including the Perth metropolitan area.

Successful applicants are appointed as entry-level Fisheries and Marine Officers and are required to attend a 14-week training course based in Fremantle. This is followed by a 12-month probationary period, which is generally spent in the Perth metropolitan area.

Contact the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for more information.

Entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in fisheries compliance, marine studies, environmental management or a related area. Knowledge of state and federal government fisheries legislation, as well as the marine environment and resources of Western Australia, would be desirable.

The Certificate III, IV and Diploma of Fisheries Compliance are offered at Western Australian TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in seafood fisheries compliance (level 3). The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

You can also complete a degree in marine science, environmental management or a related area. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or a Permanent Resident and need to hold a ‘C’ Class driver’s licence.