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Nga mahi i te moana - Jobs at Sea

Many people choose to work at sea because they love the ocean, they love the hours, and they can’t imagine being in an office.

A job on a fishing vessel is hard work but for many people, it’s the adventure of a lifetime. You might find yourself fishing for scampi near the Auckland Islands or closer to home fishing for snapper in the Tasman Bay. 

A career at sea will require some study, lots of hours on the water and hard mahi but there are clear pathways ahead.  Starting as a deckhand with no qualifications, you can move through the ranks to be a skipper, earning around $110 an hour.

If you are already employed in the seafood sector, you can undertake an Apprenticeship in Commercial Fishing where you will learn to monitor and implement staff work routines, comply with hygiene, food and workplace safety requirements as well as how to communicate effectively. 


Deep sea fishing

Operating in deep waters outside of New Zealand’s coastline, deepsea fishing offers a unique lifestyle with a variety of career opportunities. Working on a deepwater fishing vessel means you will be at sea away from your friends and whanau for up to 6 weeks at a time but the pay is good and there is plenty of time off between trips.  You might find yourself fishing for hoki on the Chatam Rise or Jack Mackerel off the coast of Taranaki. 

Finding your sealegs can take a bit of time but there’s always support available to you.


Inshore fishing

Operating around New Zealand’s coastline, catching a range of seafood species using a variety of fishing methods, inshore fishing offers a rewarding career.  Inshore fishing boats go away for shorter trips, often just for a day or up to two weeks. You might find yourself catching blue cod in Stewart Island or fishing for snapper off  the East Cape. 

Learn more about jobs at sea