Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Fishing vessel skippers and fishermen/women operate fishing vessels to pursue and land fish and other marine life. They are usually self-employed owner-operators of fishing vessels.
- Lose or break fishing gear due to inclement weather, usage or interference by other vessels. They repair or replace the gear in a timely manner. (1)
- May not catch enough fish early in the season to use as bait. They are forced to buy it from local suppliers. (1)
- Experience equipment malfunctions or breakdowns at sea. They attempt to make running repairs. If they are unable to get equipment working properly, they return to port where more resources are available. If their boats are disabled, they call for emergency assistance. (2)
- May lose electronic navigation capability in their boats. They revert to traditional navigation methods using compasses and charts until the equipment is repaired. (2)
- May encounter too many other fish harvesters fishing in too small an area to be safe and productive. They communicate with each other and authorities to organize fair fishing and safe navigation to prevent tangled gear and broken equipment. (2)
- May have trouble getting acceptable or good prices for catches. Low prices may be caused by saturated markets, disputes over product quality or lack of transportation to the markets. They find other buyers, hold products until a better price is found or suspend fishing of that species until the price for the catch yields a reasonable return. (3)
- Decide to send equipment out to qualified service persons for repairs. They consider the amount of time they have available for repairs, their ability to do the work competently and the cost if equipment is sent to a service and repair shop. (1)
- May decide how many crew members are needed for each fishing season. (2)
- Decide what gear must be purchased for each fishing season based on the species they fish. (2)
- Decide to sell to a variety of buyers to maintain competition for their catch and to diversify their market bases. (2)
- Decide to support proposals and regulations put forward by government, fishing associations, scientists and businesses. For example, they may support conservation measures that propose limiting present catches in favour of larger quotas in subsequent years. (3)
- Decide when and where to fish based on past experience, legislated restrictions and available markets. They fish in the best areas available given government restrictions and traditional rights on the fishing grounds. Choosing the right locations is critical to fishing success and profitability. (4)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Evaluate the quality of gear and equipment. (1)
- Evaluate the effectiveness of processing and fish storage methods used by crew to ensure quality. (2)
- Evaluate the reliability and validity of weather and ice condition information provided by different sources. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Fishing Vessel Skippers and fishermen/women plan each day in advance, preparing all that they need well ahead of time. Insufficient planning can result in lost fishing time and, in some cases, put lives in danger. They must be disciplined and maintain tight work schedules. Daily planning follows a routine which is broken only by interruptions such as bad weather and mechanical breakdowns. Some disruptions may require significant reorganization to make up for lost time and to get work completed.
Planning and Organizing for Others
Fishing Vessel Skippers and Fishermen/women may schedule and plan work for their partners, helpers and crew. They assign positions and direct activities of crew members while working and ensure that they are working in a safe and efficient manner.
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember Fisheries and Oceans Canada's notices to mariners advising of changes to regulations and hazards to navigation.
- Remember fishing regulations, quotas and restrictions which change from year to year.
- Remember fishing grounds which produce the best catches during specific times or seasons. For example, they may remember catching herring over reefs or breeding areas.
- Remember basic maintenance procedures for engines and winches.
- Find weather and ice conditions information on television, radio, recorded telephone messages and at the Environment Canada web site. (1)
- Find information on legislation, regulations, season openings and closures and restrictions by reading bulletins, visiting web sites, calling Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials and talking to union and association representatives. (2)
- Monitor fish prices, dates for seasonal openings and closings, availability of equipment by reading newspapers, magazines, reports, attending meetings and talking to other fish harvesters in their areas or from other locations. (3)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Most fishing vessel skippers and fishermen/women work with partners or helpers to catch and haul fish, plan fishing routes and sell their catch. They need to coordinate their own activities with their crew to maximize the profitability of each fishing trip, and to ensure personal safety and the safety of the crew. They may work independently to complete accounting functions or as part of a team to maintain their boats and fishing gear. (2)
Fishing vessel skippers and fishermen/women gain practical knowledge about fishing on the job and by talking to other fish harvesters. They learn how to use technologies such as global positioning systems and fish finders by studying manuals independently and by reading operating guidelines and procedures for these technologies on manufacturer's Internet sites. They review fishing magazines and newsletters from fishing organizations They take courses offered by DFO and fishing associations to upgrade navigation and safety certification. New regulations issued by DFO are reviewed to incorporate changes in their fishing practice. (2)