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Our Deep-Water Fleet operate out of Timaru. Our fleet includes deep-sea trawlers, scampi vessels and long liners which target fisheries both in NZ and as far away as the Ross Sea.


Together at Sanford we are proud of our extensive seafood history and our position as New Zealand’s largest integrated fishing and aquaculture business. Our vision is to be leaders in NZ seafood – achieving this through a value led approach of care, passion, and integrity in all that we do.


About the role:

We have independent contractor (self-employment) opportunities onboard our 11 Deep-Water Fishing Vessels, where as a factory or deck hand you will be responsible for supporting the Skipper, Factory Manager and wider team to produce high quality NZ Seafood.


Working on a fishing vessel has its challenges and requires the ability to work and live with the same people day in and day out for up to 42 days at a time.


  • Trip lengths are approximately six weeks at a time
  • You will most likely be required to complete two trips (12 weeks) before having one trip off (6 weeks)
  • Between trips, there will be opportunity to have time on land to rest during the vessel turnaround
  • Vessel operations run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and shifts are generally 6 hours on 6 hours off
  • Delicious meals are prepared and provided to you by our amazing on-board chefs
  • The fleet is Timaru based so you must be able to get yourself to Timaru for your engagement
  • Pre-contract medical assessments including drug testing will be carried out as part of the onboarding process


What you need to be successful in this role:

Your positive attitude and enthusiasm to support the production of high-quality NZ seafood to the world will ensure your success on board. So, what else do you need to bring?


  • A values led approach of care, passion and integrity in everything that you do
  • High level of commitment to health and safety, not just for yourself but for your fellow crew too
  • The ability to get on well with crew from a range of diverse backgrounds
  • Discipline to manage yourself and your time between shift cycles
  • Open and enthusiastic to learning new skills from those with more experience
  • Mature, proud of your work ethic and calm under pressure
  • This is a demanding role so you will need to be physically and mentally fit

You will be joining an amazing team of talented seagoing individuals that work together with care, passion and integrity.  Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone onboard our vessels is our key priority. It should therefore come as no surprise that we take a zero-tolerance stance on drug and alcohol use in our workplace. Testing for these substances is mandatory and regular so please take this into consideration before registering your interest in contracting your services to our company.


If you’re a team player, can follow instructions and take pride in your work and personal wellbeing, your next voyage could start here with Sanford.


What we can offer you:

  • Various contract schedules (vessel dependent) with competitive remuneration
  • Opportunities to work towards qualifications while you work
  • Contracting your services to a company that is focused on supporting people to develop their career pathway


If you are passionate the above position and think you are up to the challenge, you can apply below or please forward a copy of your CV and a cover letter outlining your experience and background to


For consideration you will need to be eligible to work in New Zealand. As part of our recruitment process pre-engagement checks may include criminal history check, drug and alcohol testing and a medical assessment. You will also be required to be fully vaccinated via the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination, or any other vaccine approved for use in New Zealand by the Ministry of Health to protect a person against Covid-19.


If you have any questions regarding the role, please contact James Thian on 022 105 8635.


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