We provide professional marine observer training

CapMarine has trained over 1000 sea-going scientific observers, land based monitors, marine mammal observers, passive acoustic monitoring personnel, fisheries liason officers and fisheries inspectors.


Our structured and comprehensive training programmes have been designed specifically to provide training and observer services to meet their national observer program requirements  as well as regional and international programmes (CCAMLR, ICCAT, IOTC, SEAFO and SWIOFP). The success of these programmes has led us to being contracted by a number of other countries to provide training for their observer requirements, including Madagascar, the Seychelles, Namibia and Belize.

CapMarine is committed to employing and advancing persons from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and this is reflected in our training approach. 

CapMarine has adopted a teaching approach which incorporates visual, video and photographic learning aids.  Furthermore, our training team is collectively able to present the training material in IsiXhosa, Zulu, English and Afrikaans.

We consider applicants with Matric passes, sea-going experience and tertiary education. Good mathematical ability is essential and candidates are expected to pass a basic recruitment exam that includes mathematics, writing skills and logic before they are considered for further employment.

Our in-house training and protocols

All scientific observers selected for further employment undergo personalised in-house training, which is sector specific. Another essential component of the observer’s initial training includes an internationally recognized safety and survival-training course normally conducted at the Cape Technikon Survival Centre. There are two training phases:

Phase 1

The first is a two week theoretical and practical course, with content such as, fish species identification,  species biology, seabird and marine mammal identification, vessel terminology, fishing techniques gear, quota allocations and permit conditions, basic fisheries management  stock assessment, oceanography and international observer protocols.

Navigation and meteorology is included to facilitate capturing positional data and recording environmental interactions.

Phase 2

The second phase of training conducted anually, follows when observers have gained experience in  primary fishing sectors. This phase involves revising the initial theoretical instruction and includes new material while placing emphasis on accurate data collection methods, additional biological sampling strategies and species identification for different sectors.

CapMarine observers and staff are all trained  in responsible fishing practises. This  leads to observers educating  skippers and their communities about responsible fishing and marine conservation.