Seafood industry careers include commercial fishing and processing at sea as well as on land. Be part of an industry which is internationally recognised for its commitment to the environment and sustainability.

A person pulling a fish out of the ocean on a fishing line

Opportunities in seafood

There are a whole range of both seasonal and permanent job opportunities across the seafood industry, both out on the water and on land. These range from entry-level roles to those that require technical skills through to senior leaders and managers.

Michelle Cherrington Moana NZ

It’s not necessarily about the qualifications you have on paper, but it's the time you give, the interests you have, and the curiosity and initiative that you show.

Michelle Cherrington, Group Communications and Sustainability Manager

Types of jobs in seafood

  • Skipper

    Inshore and deep-sea skippers are responsible for running a fishing boat. Their tasks range from navigating the vessel and organising the crew, to overseeing the catching and processing of fish.

    Pay depends on the size and type of boat they operate, whether they own it, the fish species being targeted, and the size of their catch.

    * Maritime New Zealand, 2017

    A lady wearing a hard hat, and a high-vis vest, smiles on a boat
  • Deckhand

    A deckhand primarily works on the deck of the vessel assisting with the activities of fishing, working with the fishing gear, and handling and sorting the catch. They manage the maintenance of aquaculture shellfish farms.

    Actual deckhand activities will depend on whether they are working on an inshore or deep-water vessel and the species they are targeting.

    * Maritime New Zealand, 2017

    Male deckhand looking at camera
  • Production or line supervisor

    A seafood process worker, or line supervisor, is responsible for overseeing the processing of the product, monitoring staff, and making sure the production requirements are being met within their area of responsibility.

    Production supervisors can work at sea on vessels that carry out processing or in land-based operations.

    A lady wearing a hairnet smiles as she packs fish into boxes
  • Aquaculture farmer

    Aquaculture salmon or shellfish farmers manage the breeding, feeding, raising, and care for fish or shellfish through to harvesting for commercial purpose in marine or freshwater farms.

    Pay for aquaculture farmers varies depending on skills, experience, and the type of work they do.

    * New Zealand Salmon Farmers Association and Sanford Ltd, 2018

    Aquaculture farmer holding basket of shellfish<br />

Find out more about seafood careers at Seafood New Zealand

Training and learning opportunities

The seafood industry offers learning and training opportunities, including for those new to seafood. 

Keen to learn more?

Find out about a range of food and fibre jobs, what skills are needed and training available.


Connecting you to support.

View the support options available to you on your work, education or training journey.