Unit of competency details

SFIFISH208C - Maintain, prepare, deploy and retrieve purse seines to land catch (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from SFI11 Seafood Industry Training Package20/Jun/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SFIFISH208B - Maintain, prepare, deploy and retrieve purse seines to land catchEmployability skills and licensing statements added; minor rewording; template changes21/Jul/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 22/Jul/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050799 Fisheries Studies, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050799 Fisheries Studies, N.e.c.  07/Aug/2012 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency involves maintaining and preparing purse seining gear ready for deployment, and retrieving the gear to the vessel. The unit also involves the initial aspects of handling seafood specific to purse seining operations.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Therefore it will be necessary to check with the relevant state or territory regulators for current licensing, legislative or regulatory requirements before undertaking this unit.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit has application to a deckhand on a purse seiner. Purse seines are used for catching a range of fish, such as tuna, pilchards, salmon and bait.

All enterprise or workplace procedures and activities are carried out according to relevant government regulations , licensing and other compliance requirements , including occupational health and safety  (OHS ) guidelines , food safety and hygiene regulations and procedures  and ecologically sustainable development  (ESD ) principles .

Equipment operation, maintenance, repairs and calibrations are undertaken in a safe manner that conforms to manufacturer instructions. Appropriate personal protective equipment  (PPE ) is selected, checked, used and maintained.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Maintain purse seines ready for deployment

1.1. Purse seines are checked  against established criteria  according to vessel maintenance plan and supervisor's instructions.

1.2. Purse seine components  which are loose, worn or damaged are identified and either reconditioned  or replaced.

1.3. Replacement purse seine components are ordered.

1.4. Defective purse seine components are disposed of.

2. Deploy purse seines

2.1. Purse seine components are connected in the configuration required by the fishing method according to instructions from a supervisor.

2.2. Machinery  to deploy purse seines from the vessel is used  according to instructions from supervisors.

2.3. Purse seine nets are deployed using floats or net skiffs.

2.4. Over shoot and purse ropes are used according to supervisor's instructions.

2.5. Devices and systems are deployed to ensure operating efficiency and to reduce environmental impact and interaction with by-catch.

2.6. Purse seine storage area is cleaned.

3. Retrieve purse seines

3.1. Ropes and nets are applied to hauling devices according to instructions from supervisors.

3.2. Nets are stacked ready for deployment according to instructions from supervisors.

3.3. Purse seines are disconnected and stowed to ensure ease of deployment, the safety of crew and a safe working area.

4. Land, contain and sort the catch

4.1. Containment devices  are prepared  to receive the catch safely.

4.2. Catch is loaded into containment devices.

4.3. Catch is sorted  to maximise by-catch survival and seafood quality.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • assembling and dismantling connecting devices
  • ensuring gear is deployed untwisted
  • repairing or replacing all worn gear components (excluding damage to netting material)
  • sorting catch
  • stowing fishing gear
  • using techniques for loosening rusted components
  • using machinery to deploy and retrieve fishing gear.

Literacy skills used for :

  • reading sizes of connecting gear.

Numeracy skills used for :

  • measuring length or diameter.

Required knowledge 

  • basic operating principle of the fishing gear
  • factors that make purse seine gear components effective or defective
  • order in which gear components are connected and disconnected
  • principles that contribute to:
  • environmental and resource protection
  • personal, seafood and vessel hygiene
  • vessel stability
  • workplace safety.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit 

Assessment must confirm the ability to:

  • handle and sort seafood with regard to food safety and hygiene, and food quality
  • lash ground gear and/or floatation devices
  • maintain and prepare purse seining gear ready for deployment, and to retrieve the gear to the vessel
  • prepare, deploy and retrieve common gear components
  • renew damaged net hangings
  • repair all aspects of purse seine except damaged netting
  • sort and contain the catch.

Assessment must confirm knowledge of:

  • criteria for assessing the quality of gear components
  • order in which gear components are connected and disconnected
  • principles of personal and vessel hygiene.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment is to be conducted at the workplace or in a simulated work environment.

Resources may include:

  • fully operational purse seiner with catch suitable for sorting.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • observation of practical demonstration
  • practical exercises
  • project work
  • written or oral short-answer testing.

Guidance information for assessment 

This unit may be assessed holistically with other units within a qualification.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant government regulations , licensing and other compliance requirements  may include:

  • biodiversity and genetically modified organisms
  • biosecurity, translocation and quarantine
  • Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) and other import requirements
  • business or workplace operations, policies and practices
  • correct marketing names and labelling
  • ESD principles, environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • fisheries or aquaculture regulations, permits and licences
  • food safety, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), hygiene and temperature control along chain of custody
  • Indigenous land rights and cultural activities, including fishing by traditional methods
  • health and welfare of aquatic animals
  • maritime and occupational diving operations, safety at sea and pollution control
  • OHS hazard identification, risk assessment and control.

OHS guidelines  may include:

  • appropriate workplace provision of first aid kits and fire extinguishers
  • clean, uncluttered, hygienic workplace
  • codes of practice, regulations and/or guidance notes which may apply in a jurisdiction or industry sector
  • enterprise-specific OHS procedures, policies or standards
  • hazard and risk assessment of workplace, maintenance activities and control measures
  • induction or training of staff, contractors and visitors in relevant OHS procedures and/or requirements to allow them to carry out their duties in a safe manner
  • OHS training register
  • safe lifting, carrying and handling techniques, including manual handling, and the handling and storage of hazardous substances
  • safe systems and procedures for outdoor work, including protection from solar radiation, fall protection, confined space entry and the protection of people in the workplace
  • systems and procedures for the safe maintenance of property, machinery and equipment, including hydraulics and exposed moving parts
  • the appropriate use, maintenance and storage of PPE.

Food safety and hygiene regulations and procedures  may include:

  • Australian Shellfish Sanitation program
  • display, packaging and sale of food, including seafood and aquatic products
  • equipment design, use, cleaning and maintenance
  • exporting requirements, including AQIS Export Control (Fish) orders
  • handling and disposal of condemned or recalled seafood products
  • HACCP and other risk minimisation systems
  • location, construction and servicing of seafood premises
  • people, product and place hygiene and sanitation requirements
  • Primary Products Standard and the Australian Seafood Standard (voluntary)
  • processing, further processing and preparation of food including seafood and aquatic products
  • product labelling, tracing and recall
  • receipt, storage and transportation of food, including seafood and aquatic products
  • requirements set out in Australian and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) Food Standards Code
  • temperature and contamination control along chain of custody.

ESD principles  may include:

  • applying animal welfare ethics and procedures
  • controlling effluents, chemical residues, contaminants, wastes and pollution
  • controlling weeds, pests, predators and diseases, and stock health maintenance
  • maintaining biodiversity by sustainable fisheries or broodstock/seedstock collection
  • minimising noise, dust, light or odour emissions
  • reducing energy use
  • reducing interactions with native and protected flora and fauna, marine or land parks or areas
  • reducing live cultured or held organisms from escaping into environment
  • undertaking environmental hazard identification, risk assessment and control
  • undertaking facility quarantine, biosecurity and translocation of livestock and genetic material
  • using and recycling of water, and maintaining water quality.

PPE  may include:

  • buoyancy vest or personal floatation device (PFD)
  • gloves, mitts or gauntlets, and protective hand and arm covering
  • hard hat or protective head covering
  • hearing protection (e.g. ear plugs and ear muffs)
  • insulated protective clothing for freezers or chillers and refrigeration units
  • non-slip and waterproof boots (gumboots) or other safety footwear
  • personal locator beacon or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
  • protective eyewear, glasses and face mask
  • protective hair, beard and boot covers
  • protective outdoor clothing for tropical conditions
  • respirator or face mask
  • safety harness
  • sun protection (e.g. sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses)
  • uniforms, overalls or protective clothing (e.g. mesh and waterproof aprons)
  • waterproof clothing (e.g. wet weather gear and waders).

Purse seines are checked  for:

  • connecting devices for wear
  • lifting gear
  • operability of net skiff
  • quality of purse rope or wire
  • rips, holes and worn netting
  • security of hangings for net and lashings for ground gear and floatation.

Criteria  may include:

  • absence
  • cracks
  • distortion
  • internal and external damage to wire and rope
  • looseness
  • wear limit.

Components  may include:

  • connecting devices:
  • shackles
  • hammerlocks
  • chain
  • wires
  • ropes
  • Clevis pin connectors
  • G, C, D and sister clips
  • floatation devices
  • ground gear
  • hangings and lashings
  • lifting gear
  • net skiff
  • over shoot rope and bridles, and heaving lines
  • purse rings or clips
  • purse rope
  • purse seine
  • wire clamps.

Reconditioned  may mean:

  • all components, except for the netting material
  • chain measured and replaced
  • connecting devices inspected and replaced
  • wire rope measured and re-spliced.

Machinery  may include:

  • capstans
  • lifting gear:
  • block and tackle
  • brail
  • fish pump
  • hydraulically operated crane
  • mast and boom
  • 'Puretic' power block
  • 'Triplex' net handling systems
  • net skiff
  • purse rope winches.

Used  may mean:

  • fishing gear is connected to the machinery
  • gear is guided onto machinery operated by other personnel
  • machinery is operated under supervision.

Containment devices  may include:

  • brine tanks
  • fish boxes:
  • coffins
  • exchangeable market boxes
  • freezing cartons
  • wash boxes
  • ice rooms
  • pounded deck areas
  • sorting trays.

Prepared  may mean:

  • boxes sufficient for sorting are arranged ergonomically
  • brine tank hatches arranged
  • cleaned
  • disinfected
  • exchangeable market boxes are accounted for
  • freezer carton liners applied
  • freezing cartons assembled.

Sorted  may include:

  • as by-catch
  • as seafood or bait for retention
  • by legal length
  • by sex:
  • male or female
  • sexual stage
  • by size
  • by species.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Fishing operations

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field