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Fishery Assessment Officer

Position Overview

Fishery assessment officers conduct audits to ensure fisheries are sustainable and diverse through proper management. Based on the MCS Fisheries Standard, this will relate to wild-capture freshwater or marine organisms, such as shellfish and fish. Assessment officers evaluate fisheries against the standard requirements. This means they need to have good people skills as they will be working with various customers. They conduct field surveys and study fish mortality rates, water quality, and what aquatic life is present at each fishery. They provide industry advice and work towards a more sustainable fishing environment. They also look to understand the overall ecosystem dynamics, and analyze this against the legal framework for commercial fisheries. Fishery assessment officers will use a number of different assessment techniques for each fishery.

Fishery Assessment Officer Duties

  • Develop field surveys for different fisheries
  • Audit against MSC Fisheries Standard
  • Report on fishery effects
  • Lead other fishery officers, providing advice on different management and assessment techniques
  • Develop fishery certification reports
  • Analyze and understand regulatory and legal implications for fisheries
  • Educate others on sustainable and diverse fisheries / ecosystems

Typical Employers

  • Environment Protection Agency
  • Conservation committees
  • Government
  • Consulting agencies

Required Education and Training

Fishery assessment officers should have a masters or PhD in a related discipline, such as biological science. Subjects that are particularly relevant include fisheries management, biology, environmental or marine science, land management, or aquaculture. Additionally, they should have a minimum of 5 years' experience in fisheries stock assessment. While this is not mandatory, candidates should have something similar if they wish to be considered.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Ability to work well with others
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Understanding of different fisheries standards
  • Understanding of survey designs and sampling
  • Strong data analysis skills
  • Ability to multitask effectively
  • A general interest in the sustainability of fisheries and the environment
  • A valid drivers licence

Average Salary

  • When first starting in this position, fishery assessment officers can expect to earn an average of £22,500
  • Once they have ten years of experience or more, they can earn upwards of £40,000
  • If the fishery assessment officer works for a consulting firm, they can earn over £40,000