The Westport Deepsea Fishing School has been operating since 1988, and is owned and run by Peter Maich, a former commercial fisherman with a passion for the industry. The school gives students comprehensive training based around working on Deep Sea and inshore fishing vessels. Programs are based on Industry created and NZQA-approved qualifications in seafood processing and vessel operations to create the skills needed by our seafood industry. We deliver a range of level 2 and level 3 national certificates supported by zero fees to eligible students.
Our program is made of both practical and theory training ashore and experience on fishing vessels for a positive effective introduction to work and life at sea.
More than 3000 students have completed the courses offered by the school since its start.
We are supported by all major commercial fishing companies in New Zealand, including Sanford, Sealord and Talleys.
We are committed to placing students into full time employment in the Fishing Industry, but WDSFS cannot guarantee employment, this must be earned by the students; however, the school does have an almost 90 percent post-learning employment success rate for students that complete training.
The WDSFS recruits nationally and has a range of funding available for no fee programs from the Ministry of Social Development, Tertiary Education Commission, Te Ohu Moana and from time to time other scholarships are on offer. These allow us to accept students from school leaving age to the 18+ looking for a new choice of employment and career. Typical students range from 16 to 30 years of age.
The school is based in Westport and offers a residential program that is suited to the development of skills and attitudes required by the fishing industry.
The main requirements for employment are the work skills that we are creating in students during the program supported by a positive can do attitude and a genuine desire to work in the students.
Drug and Alcohol testing are part of the WDSFS and fishing industry culture and all students presented for employment must be drug free and to Standard AS/NZS 4308:2008
The Westport Deep Sea Fishing School is the leading provider of new entrants into the NZ fishing industry
Successful students can expect to start on 50K plus for approx. 7 months’ work