Skipper Fishing Vessel – Limited (SFV)

Find information on training, sea service and other requirements for the SFV certificate, including how to apply and pay for your certificate, and where to find more help.

Your Skipper Fishing Vessel – Limited certificate is valid for five years.

With this certificate, you can perform the functions and duties of master on:

  • a fishing vessel of less than 45 metres overall length operating in inshore fishing limits and in limited waters
  • a passenger or non-passenger ship of less than 24 metres overall length operating in inshore fishing limits and in limited waters.

From SFV, you can progress to Skipper Fishing Vessel – Unlimited. You may also be able to progress to officer certificates for non-fishing vessels.


Before you spend time doing sea service and training, we recommend you check that you can meet the medical fitness and eyesight standards (including for colour vision), and that you understand the fit and proper person requirements.

To get this certificate, you need to prove that you meet all of the requirements. In summary, you need to:

  • be aged over 18, medically fit and have good eyesight
  • be of good character and a fit and proper person
  • hold a certificate of competency as Mate Fishing Vessel – Limited
  • prove you have met the minimum sea service requirements
  • complete and pass an approved training course
  • have the required ancillary certificates and Maritime General Radiotelephone Operator’s Certificate (MGROC)
  • pass MNZ’s final exam.

You must also have English conversation, reading and writing skills appropriate to the responsibilities and functions for the level of your certificate, so that you can satisfactorily complete training, pass examinations and discharge your duties.

Each of these requirements and how to prove that you meet them is explained in the full guideline below.

Skipper Fishing Vessel – Limited (SFV)[PDF: 252Kb, 22 pages]


The application fee for this certificate is $368, which includes goods and services tax (GST)

Application process

This is the application process for this certificate of competency.

Contact us for more help

If you have any questions about seafarer certification, please contact our Personnel Certification team.


New Zealand (toll free):
0508 SEACERT or 0508 732 237

Call Personnel Certification now

Tell us what you need help with and remember to include your contact details (email address and phone numbers).

Transitioning guideline

For more help about moving your old certificate into SeaCert, download and read this guideline

Transitioning to new certificates

[PDF: 241Kb, 15 pages]