Fisheries Scientist

Fish stocks and marine ecosystems are increasingly threatened by growing consumer demand and the impacts of climate change and extensive pollution, particularly plastics. Information about these changes in the marine environment is needed to inform creative responses to ensure the integrity of marine ecosystems, including fish resources and responsible and sustainable fishing practices. Fisheries science studies the life history and state of fish stocks.

Fisheries scientists monitor, sample and evaluate fish species and implement projects to evaluate the habitats and behaviours of fish species. They develop plans for hatchery management and monitor and maintain relevant fish inventories. They can conduct educational programmes with local fishing communities and make inputs into policy to ensure that fishing laws and regulations are followed to maintain sustainable fish populations.

Fisheries scientists can work with fish in both freshwater and ocean environments undertaking research. They can work with various stakeholders, including local communities as well as water quality scientists and marine biologists, for example.


Fisheries scientists must have a passion for fish and marine life and a comprehensive knowledge of laws and regulations guiding the fishing industry. They will also benefit from: 

  • Astute observation and fieldwork ability 
  • Extensive research competence
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication and presentation skills


Design and implement research and conservation projects

Conduct field examinations, collecting and analysing biological data

Develop and conduct educational programmes

Advise on the development and implementation of policy and rehabilitation programmes 


B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Ichthyology and Fisheries Science at RU 

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences specialising in Botany or Zoology at all universities

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Oceanography at CPUT

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Nautical or Marine Studies at CPUT and DUT


National, provincial and local government.

Fisheries industry.

NGOs, community-based and development organisations and private consultancies.

Research institutions.

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