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Fisheries officers are inspectors that visit different fisheries, both marine and freshwater, ensuring that conservation regulations are met and animal welfare laws are being adhered to. They are highly experienced in fisheries management areas and must be able to carry out inspections on the quality of aquatic life and evaluate the health and welfare of the fish.
Sustainable fishing has a growing importance in modern society, with growing concerns about overfishing. Fisheries officers mainly work for government agencies and organisations including The Environment Agency and the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate which look to promote sustainable fishing to the public and the industries.
In freshwater fisheries they will inspect the conditions of the water and the habitat of the fish, perhaps with a view to promote angling as a recreational sport. Marine fisheries require fisheries officers to regulate, protect and improve them, by inspecting vessels and farms at sea. They will enforce good conservation measures and environmentally friendly hatching processes.
Typical tasks and responsibilities of a fisheries officer might include:
On top of administrative duties, officers must be able to perform practical tasks, such as handling and inspecting fish and shellfish. They need be good at biological sciences, handling specimens and samples and analysing data and reports. Communication skills are also important as officers may need to hold talks or lectures as a means to promote the angling industry.
Fisheries officers are regulatory personnel. Their advice should be constructive and should help fisheries to be successful as well as sustainable. This means officers need too stay well-informed on changes in current legislation and fishing laws.