The International School of Commercial Fishing Gear Technology was established by organisations, individuals and companies in the field on the south-west corner of Iceland. ISCFT is located at Sudurnes Comprehensive School (Fjölbrautaskóli Sudurnesja), a college of further education in Iceland that has for many years supplied the theoretical training for net makers.
Fishing gear technology has been taught as an apprenticeship in Iceland for many years and to qualify as a net maker, an apprentice currently spends three years in a combination of work in a net loft and study at FSS. A further combined course of work and study qualifies the candidate as a master net maker.
Building on the fundamental subjects taught as part _of the Icelandic apprenticeship, FSS has taken the decision to make this training available internationally as a set of flexible modules. These are to be offered as a combination of distance learning and study sessions at the college in Iceland, where students have the opportunity to spend time in local net lofts and to make full use of the college's flume tank.
The course begins with a fundamental introduction to various fishing gears, their construction and their uses. Students are then free to choose from a set of specialised modules, including different trawl gears, purse seines, Danish seines, static gears and a variety of related subjects, such as Fishing Gear English, Management and Environment, Fish Behaviour Towards Fishing Gears and Fisheries Electronics..
The college also plans to hold model making courses, aimed at net loft staff who wish to prepare scaled fishing gear models for testing in flume tanks. This course makes full use of the college's own tank and each student has the opportunity to select, scale, make and test a model.
Courses are available in sets of related material, from module sets aimed at skippers and mates and at net loft staff that incorporate most of the available material, to shorter course sets designed for deck crews, teaching staff, fishing gear sales people or enforcement officials.
Although there are no formal minimum requirements, students are expected to have some knowledge of maths and to be familiar with the basic knots used in fishing gears. The college expects to be able to cater for fishing gear technology students at any stage, from beginners looking to make a career in this field to skippers or working net makers who wish to add theoretical knowledge to a practical background or study a type of gear they may be unfamiliar with