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Fisheries management

The fisheries management industry includes activities within freshwater locations, such as rivers and reservoirs. These activities involve the provision of angling, conserving and enhancing freshwater fish and habitats, and securing sustainable fisheries. The industry encompasses government funded research institutes, the Environment Agency, fisheries trusts, commercial fisheries, district salmon fishery boards, angling clubs and learning providers.

Key statistics:

  • There are approximately 1,755 people working in the industry, across 528 businesses.
  • The majority of fisheries management employers have other business activities outside of fisheries management itself.
  • 86% of businesses employ between 1-5 staff, 12% employ between 6-25 staff and 2% employ 26 or more staff.
  • 66% of businesses and clubs have volunteers.
  • 80% of the workforce is male.
  • 9% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years and 33% is 35-44 years.
  • The average of an employee is 40 years.
  • 59% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • 20% of the workforce is seasonal.

Jobs in the industry include: fisheries worker, angling guide, ghillie (attendant), water bailiff, ecologist, fisheries biologist, environmental analyst, fisheries manager, fisheries development officer, fisheries superintendent, owner, hatchery manager, senior fisheries biologist

Entry requirements for this industry vary depending on the job role. Some jobs require no formal qualifications. However, relevant qualifications and experience can be an advantage, especially for higher paid job roles. Technical/specialist roles may require specific qualifications and/or experience, but some employers may invest in training a suitable individual.

Drivers for change in the industry are:

  • Customer demand – The industry’s customers require certified angling coaches, angling guides and quality standards and COP.
  • Environmental issues – There is a need to protect natural resources and where possible improve habitats, monitor and control strategies so that businesses can remain responsive to various risks and address issues of bio-security (i.e. the control of pests and alien species).
  • Policy and legislation – There is a need to keeping the workforce up-to-date on issues such as health and safety, environmental sustainability and new legislation.
  • Resource management – Techniques of husbandry for wild fish hatcheries, monitoring of fish stocks, developing fisheries for non-salmon species are strategies that have all been identified as important areas for improvement and resource management.
  • Technological advances – The industry needs to incorporate ICT skills and acquire technical knowledge for monitoring techniques and equipment.

Due to significant changes in the industry, there is an increasing demand for high skill staff. The current and future skills that will become increasingly important include: business and management skills; technical/job specific skills; and essential skills (e.g. literacy, numeracy, communication and customer relations). Skill gaps affecting current staff are:

  • For managers – IT, technical/specific, environmental knowledge, HR skills, communication and financial management
  • For other occupational levels – customer service

National and regional data:

  • Scotland – There are an estimated 1,221 employees in the regional workforce, in around 124 businesses.
  • South East – There are an estimated 346 employees in the regional workforce, in around 91 businesses.
  • South West – There are an estimated 276 employees in the regional workforce, in around 93 businesses.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There are an estimated 250 employees in the regional workforce, in around 65 businesses.
  • North West – There are an estimated 234 employees in the regional workforce, in around 65 businesses.
  • West Midlands – There are an estimated 166 employees in the regional workforce, in around 50 businesses.
  • East of England – There are an estimated 154 employees in the regional workforce, in around 64 businesses.
  • London – There are an estimated 146 employees in the regional workforce, in around 30 businesses.
  • Wales – There are an estimated 141 employees in the regional workforce, in around 48 businesses.
  • East Midlands – There are an estimated 137 employees in the regional workforce, in 59 around businesses.
  • Northern Ireland – There are an estimated 56 employees in the regional workforce, in around 16 businesses.
  • North East – There are an estimated 49 employees in the regional workforce, in around 21 businesses.

Pay scales in this industry are variable, so the following only provides an indication of the annual salary paid to some full-time positions:

  • Fish farm workers can earn between £13,000 - £18,000, managers can earn around £38,000
  • Water bailiffs or fisheries officers can start on around £14,500, rising to £26,500 with experience. Those in a management post can earn £29,000 or more.

Further information on salaries can be found on the Defra website.

Source: Lantra AACS LMI report 2010