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The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

Are you someone who thinks that the Seafood Industry is only about boats, fish catches and a life on the ocean wave?

Well, think again...

Videos

Nicola O'Higgins - Fishmonger
Nicola O'Higgins - Fishmonger
Play
Brendan Cavanagh - Ships Engineer
Brendan Cavanagh - Ships Engineer
Play
Hugh Heraghty  - Fish Farm Manager
Hugh Heraghty - Fish Farm Manager
Play

Interviews

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Alan O'Neill is a Skipper working out of Castletownbere in Cork and has his final Skippers Licience. This entitles him to skipper a boat up to 50m and allows him to skipper any fishing vessel worldwide. This ticket allows you more career pathways as you have a wider boat base to choose from.

Ask me your
first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

The main career milestones has been the completion of my Skippers' Tickets. I completed the first ticket in 2002 and this enabled me to skipper a boat up to 24m.

I then completed the 2nd Skippers Ticket in the Summer of 2003 which entitled me to skipper a boat up to 50m. I completed the final Ticket in June 06. This allows me to skipper any fishing vessel worldwide. This ticket allows you more career pathways as you have a wider boat base to choose from.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

I come from a fishing background. While my grandparents were farmers, my father went to sea when he was very young.

He brought his own boat before I was born and I grew up around it. He was my greatest influence as he continued to modernise the boat in accordence with fishing trends.

How did you go about getting your current job?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Fishing is the family business so I grew up with it.

Describe a typical day?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

There is no typical day especially when out fishing. It varies from time of year and what fish you are catching. The weather also plays a huge part.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Depending on your particular role in the boat it varies. As first mate, my main responsibilites include: taking a watch; insuring that all life safety and fire fighting equipment are in good working order and working on deck.

What are the main challenges?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

The main challenges are: - the ever tightening quotas - the increasing costs of running vessels. - finding crew - Departmental constraints

What's cool?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Filling the boat with fish in one go.

What's not so cool?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Tearing the net and mending it. Getting no fish and therefore getting no money.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

I am very patience in looking for fish. I have completed a wide spectrum of courses across various aspects of fishing.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

For my Leaving Cert, I took English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Engineering, Construction and Geography. Engineering proved useful as it introduced me to the different mechanisms needed to run basic engines.

This basic information helped me in my Skippers tickets. Geography was also useful for correct geographical terms and maths was essential for the Skippers ticket as it is very mathematically orientated - I would advise people to do Honours Maths, if possible.

What is your education to date?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Leaving Certificate - 2001

Skippers Ticket 1 - 2002

Skippers Ticket 2 - 2003

Skippers Ticket 3 - 2004 -2006

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

The basics are essential - fire fighting, life safety and first aid.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

The day I walked out of Lesson Lane with my Final Skippers Ticket.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

I am ambitious - you can't stand still in this industry as it is constantly changing. I am quite patient - You may need to search a long time for fish and also you and the crew can be quite sleep deprived so patience is key.

You need to be quite organised - between paperwork and making sure you have everything you need for the trip.

What is your dream job?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

To be the skipper of my own fishing trawler - predictable I know!

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Fishing is a very unpredictable job. While, financially, it can be in line with other jobs, it can have a negative impact on your home life. You cannot plan holidays etc. because the fishing season is so dependent on the weather.

You could be at home for a week between trips or you could be home a couple of hours. It is hard to peruse any planned leisure activities when you cannot tell anyone when you will be at home or when you will be at sea.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Some may think that you can go untrained into fishing. The best advice I would give people considering fishing as a profession is to get training. Fishing is an all encompassing career - when you need to go fishing, the rest of your life goes on hold unfortunately. It is very unpredictabe because you could be fishing non stop for three weeks and tied up for two.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Patience Persistence Ingenuity

What is your favourite music?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

I have no preferences - a mixture of everything and anything. If I was to pick a favourite band it would have to be the Sawdoctors.

What is your favourite film?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Definitely Braveheart and all the Diehard movies.

What is your pet hate at work?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Having to fix a net we have torn.

What is your star sign?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Libra

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

Engineering Course - 3 week basic course. This gives you the essentials.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Alan O'Neill, Fisherman

- If possible get experierence on the type of boat you would like to fish. - Working in fish factories to see what happens to the fish.

Ask a question about...
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  • Current Job?
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  • Advice for Others?
Brendan Cavanagh - Ships Engineer
Brendan Cavanagh - Ships Engineer
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Hugh Heraghty  - Fish Farm Manager
Hugh Heraghty - Fish Farm Manager
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Brendan White - Fish Filleter
Brendan White - Fish Filleter
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Noel O'Sullivan - Skipper
Noel O'Sullivan - Skipper
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