Training crucial for fishing crew members

Mereani Soata, front left and Sailina Likuvono with fellow graduates after the mini graduation at the Fiji National University Maritime campus in Nasese, Suva on Friday, June 02, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and it is important that people are well trained before joining a fishing vessel crew.

Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA) lecturer Captain Charles Pickering shared this while highlighting some of the challenges in the fishing industry during the FMA deckhand fishing graduation in Suva on Friday.

He said most people working on fishing vessels have not been trained on any deckhand fishing courses.

The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has provided scholarships to 18 graduates to undergo the four-week course.

More than 100 people who work on fishing vessels have graduated from the course since its inception in 2019.

“Most don’t have any formal education, so they come, and we teach them in school. Whatever they learn in school, they go and practice that on the ship,” Capt Pickering said.

He said the certificate opened the door to further their training in deck watching rating, near coastal class five, skipper and fishing or they could even go for class four masters in fishing.

“We need to educate people in the fishing industry because most are not well educated and some only reach up to Year 10 education and from there, they are being recruited.

“The work attitude on the boats needs to be addressed, the communication, the respect between them and the officers and the rules of the vessel. We need to upgrade them.”

More Stories