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Marine Foundations - Fishing Master, Fourth Class

Gain the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for Transport Canada examinations for Fishing Master, Fourth Class.

A group of fishing boats sits near a wooden dock. The sea is calm and there are green, rolling hills in the background.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
10 Weeks
Certificate of Completion

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This program prepares you to challenge Transport Canada examinations for Fishing Master, Fourth Class. You gain knowledge and skills in the areas of:

  • Chartwork and pilotage
  • Navigation safety
  • Ship construction and stability
  • Simulated Electronic Navigation
  • General seamanship

Once certified by Transport Canada, you may serve as a Master, or Mate on board fishing vessels, under applicable regulations.

Choose NSCC

  • This program offers the academic training necessary to prepare you to challenge applicable Transport Canada examinations.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with the skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. Safety training is extended beyond regulatory requirements for additional safety.

Other info

  • This program is delivered on demand.
  • The enrolment capacity is 12 seats per offering.

July 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Shelburne Campus
Classes at Yarmouth - Off Site Yarmouth
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Shelburne Campus
Classes at Digby Learning Centre
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
    • International students may not be eligible for a Transport Canada certificate of competency unless granted citizenship or permanent resident status. You are strongly encouraged to verify currency of training with your government prior to registering. View additional Transport Canada details

Program requirements

  • You may be required to complete the following Training Certificates during your course of study: 
    • Marine Emergency Duties - Domestic Vessel Safety (MED-DVS)
    • Marine Advanced First Aid
    • Restricted Operators Certificate - Maritime Commercial (ROC-MC)


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates who have attained the necessary sea-time and passed the applicable Transport Canada examinations may:
    • Serve as Master, or Mate on board fishing vessels of a size and specification defined by Transport Canada.
  • Graduates who have not yet completed the Transport Canada sea-time requirements may serve as deck hands on fishing vessels.

Future study options

  • Graduates of this program who’ve attained the necessary sea-time can pursue a Transport Canada Certificate of Competency – Fishing Master, Fourth Class.
  • This program also provides the foundation for you to continue your training to achieve further or additional Transport Canada certifications.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

MARI 710 - Sea Change Sexual Violence Response and Prevention
This course provides occupational training in the area of sexual violence prevention within the marine industry. Topics include an awareness of the sexual violence continuum and the impact of sexual violence on the marine industry. Preventative and responding actions will be examined using case study analysis and interactive activities.

MARI 1061 - General Seamanship Fishing Master Fourth Class
This course prepares students to demonstrate appropriate responses, anticipations and reactions to a range of routine, non-routine and contingency scenarios based on the perspective of the duties and responsibilities associated with the Fishing Master, Fourth Class certificate.

MARI 7012 - Chartwork and Pilotage 1
This course teaches how to plan and conduct safe navigation through the interpretation and use of nautical charts and publications, including study of the Canadian Aids to navigation system. Students will learn to use various methods to determine a vessel’s position. Accurate record keeping of vessel’s progress will be highlighted including how to determine and correct for compass errors.

MARI 7121 - Navigation Safety 1
This course provides thorough knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea with Canadian Modifications, generally referred to as the “Collision Regulations” that will allow participants to apply the rules in practical situations. In addition, students will develop an understanding of the principles to be observed when carrying out a navigational watch as outlined in the STCW Code.

MARI 7127 - Ship Construction and Stability 1
This course introduces basic vessel construction theory and terminology. Students will learn about vessel stability principles which allow for safe vessel operation in many environmental conditions. Hull integrity, vessel maintenance and anti-rolling devices will also be explored.

MARI 7143 - Simulated Electronic Navigation - Limited
Students in this course will learn to use typical navigation electronic equipment found on board a coastal vessel. RADAR, marine compasses, and GPS / DGPS will be reviewed, and situational awareness will be discussed.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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