Harvest fish or shellfish for human consumption

Business Sectors (Suites): Fish and Shellfish Processing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 01 Jan 2019


This standard is about the skills and knowledge required to harvest fish or shellfish for human consumption. It relates to the work activities involved with preparing for, and producing, fish or shellfish suitable for human consumption.

You must know and understand how to harvest the fish or shellfish, minimising disturbances or stress to the fish or shellfish, complete the necessary records and maintain communication with relevant people.

This standard is for you if you work in the role of general fish or shellfish farm assistant/husbandry on either a full or part time basis. It can be applied on any farm which produces fish or shellfish to be sold for human consumption.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. harvest fish or shellfish in accordance with organisational standards
  2. check that fish or shellfish are in a suitable condition and of a size ready for harvesting
  3. obtain tools and equipment required to support planned operations, including hygiene and personal protective equipment
  4. check harvesting equipment and facilities are clean and ready for harvesting 
  5. undertake sampling, handling and harvesting of fish or shellfish in a manner which minimises stress and disturbance
  6. minimise losses and escapes
  7. apply harvest methods
  8. undertake post-harvesting processing
  9. handle and store fish or shellfish to minimise quality losses
  10. report any variations from expected harvest specification
  11. deal with factors that can disrupt the harvesting process within own limits of authority
  12. clean and store harvesting equipment after use
  13. dispose of waste according to organisational requirements
  14. complete records in accordance with organisational requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. what the organisational standards are and what may happen if they are not followed
  2. food hygiene requirements associated with the production of fish or shellfish for human consumption
  3. individual responsibilities under food hygiene legislation
  4. how and why fish or shellfish are conditioned in preparation for harvest
  5. why fish or shellfish that do not meet required harvesting specification must be managed
  6. hygiene requirements associated with the harvesting of fish or shellfish
  7. why it is important to minimise stress during harvest
  8. the requirements for post-harvesting processing and storage including the different methods and techniques used
  9. how environmental legislation controls the disposal of waste
  10. how food safety legislation controls the production of fish or shellfish for human consumption
  11. legal requirements which control the post-harvesting processing of fish or shellfish
  12. the importance of completing a harvest to meet customer requirements
  13. what recording, reporting and communication is needed, how to carry this out and the reasons why it is important to do so
  14. the limits of your own authority and competence and why it is important to work within those limits


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Jan 2023





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Fish, Shellfish, Seawater, Health, Safety, Hygiene.