Business development opportunity for commercial fishers

A new business skills program will provide commercial fishers with access to a professional business coach, helping drive business resilience and financial growth across the seafood sector.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Director of Engagement Pip Job today announced the partnership with the Professional Fishers Association to fund the $232,000 Fishers Business Skills Program.

“The commercial fishing sector has faced many challenges, including the impacts of recent natural disasters and these complex situations create uncertainty as commercial fishers manage their businesses,” Ms Job said.

“We know that providing business owners with access to professional business coaches, increases their skills and confidence to manage uncertainty and grow their business.

“Having a coach by your side in business is just as impactful as a sporting team working with their coach.”

Under the program, commercial fishers will have access to a professional business coach who will work with them to increase business skills, including business resilience, decision making, risk management and financial skills.

More than 80 businesses will be supported with workshops, online and phone support over 12 months.

Ms Job said commercial fishers have been asking for access to this program after a successful partnership with the Professional Fishers’ Association targeting young fishers was awarded a 2022 Seafood Excellence Award.

“Not only will fishers have access to a coach, there will also be workshops and videos developed on key business resilience topics including succession and transition to the next generation,” Ms Job said.

“Working with the Professional Fishers’ Association will ensure this program meets the needs of fishers and allows them be on the water when needed, or in a workshop or online meeting when it suits them to think about their business.”

Tricia Beatty, CEO of the Professional Fishers Association, welcomed the NSW Government’s investment into the commercial fishing industry.

“Commercial fishing businesses in NSW are primarily family-owned and rely on generational knowledge and skill development learnt from decades of practical experience, so it’s really important to provide business coaching to further develop and enhance our businesses and business strategies,” Ms Beatty said.

“The NSW seafood industry produces approximately $370 million per annum for our economy, with more than 4,000 people working directly within, or associated with, the industry.

“It is essential to safeguard and maximise our potential by enhancing our business practices.”

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