Compliance Officer

Maritime trade and industry contributed over R130 billion to the national economy in 2019. Along its 3000-kilometre coastline, many communities derive livelihoods from fishing practices, either for subsistence or for market. These domestic and economic activities could however pose a significant threat to marine ecosystems and resources. Laws and regulations in the marine environment encourage sustainable maritime practices that mitigate against pollution, overfishing and the loss of marine ecosystems.

Compliance officers develop, implement and manage an organisations compliance program ensuring contractual obligations, government regulations and laws are adhered to when operating within oceans and coasts. They design compliance monitoring plans along with undertaking regular audits to ensure company regulations are followed. They also advise on and coordinate the training of staff on operational compliance.

Compliance officers frequently interact with the staff of an organisation as well as fisheries and marine safety officers to ensure compliance. They work mainly in an office environment but can travel to harbour sites to interact with maritime personnel and inspect fishing and other marine vessels.


Compliance officers need a comprehensive knowledge of standards, laws and regulations that govern the marine industry. They will also benefit from: 

  • Knowledge of industry processes and risk management 
  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking ability 
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Good verbal and written communication 


Facilitate the development and maintenance of compliance risk management processes

Examine facilities to ensure accessibility and safety

Lead internal audits of procedures and update policies when needed

Advise and train staff and crew on how best to ensure compliance


B.Com., B.Com. (Hons), M.Com. in Law at all universities

LLB., LLM. specialising in Legal Compliance at all universities


National, provincial and local government.

NGOs and private consultancies.

Commercial and private shipping companies. 

Related career paths