Grow your seafood retail career with BIM’s Certificate in Fishmonger Skills

Grow your seafood retail career with BIM’s Certificate in Fishmonger Skills


Phillip Hanley, from Bubbas Fishmongers in Bray, Co Wicklow, shares his experience of participating in BIM’s Certificate in Fishmonger Skills 

If you’re interested in seafood retail, places are now available on the  

QQI Level 5 Certificate in Fishmonger Skills which provides formal accredited training for fishmongers. Courses take place in Dublin and Cork throughout the year. This is a stand-alone special purpose award at level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

How long have you been involved in seafood?  

I started working in the family restaurant part time when I was 14 or 15 doing dishes. All of a sudden, I was working on the on the floor, then a supervisor, then manager, to now managing Bubbas Fishmongers here in Bray. Bubbas started as a wholesalers in 2020 and I run it alongside my two brothers and father.   

It is a fully stocked fishmonger and grocer that includes everything from oysters, lobsters, salmon, to vegetables, fresh bread, sauces, and even coffee. 

Having that family restaurant background and connections to seafood means the products at Bubbas are sourced directly from Irish businesses with stock coming from fishing boats such as Kilkeel Harbour, Wrights of Howth and Kilmore Quay 

You recently completed the BIM Certificate in Fishmonger Skills. How would you describe your experience participating in the course?  

The experience has been great. I was in the restaurant business with my dad and brothers for so long but had never had a lot of experience with fish mongering. The course provided me with so much important knowledge I didn’t previously have. For example, small but important aspects of fish mongering such as storing and displaying fish. 

What was the highlight of the course for you?  

Learning from Hal Dawson, a master fishmonger and BIM trainer. Hal has trained hundreds of fishmongers across Europe since 2000. I met him for the first time during the course. 
My dad had a connection with Hal already and had always spoke highly of his work. When I worked with him on the course, I realised how much of an expert he was. He taught us a lot about filleting and made me comfortable with the process.  

What was your main takeaway from the course?  

The course gave me the confidence and knowledge in fishmongering I needed to run the business in the best way possible. 

About the BIM Certificate in Fishmonger Skills: 

The course is run twice per year in BIM’s Dublin office and once in BIM’s Clonakilty office.

Sessions include:  

Students also take part in practical sessions in Howth, with training in fish filleting and seafood quality. 

The courses also run mentoring and assessments in participants’ workplaces 

A seafood industry trip to either an oyster or mussel farm location is included as part of the course.  

Providing a broad knowledge of seafood, the course offers practical skills with fully certified training to those working in or wishing to enter seafood retail 

Graduates of the course will be recognised for their skills, knowledge, and adherence to the highest standards. This will provide expanded opportunities for enhanced employment and career progression.  

If you’re interested in learning more about the BIM Certificate in in Fishmonger Skills course, read more here.