Nico is a qualified mechanical engineer with over five decades of experience in fishing. He began his career in 1959, with the Kaap Kunene group (at the time one of the most successful pelagic fishing operations in South Africa) and went on to develop his management skills at I&J, working initially as a factory production manager and later as group fishing manager. In 1980, Nico left I&J to establish Viking Fishing.
Nico is acknowledged as one of the most knowledgeable figures in the South African fishing industry, having operated fishing vessels across a range of fisheries and countries. In 1983, he introduced the double longline system for catching hake and the gear used in this fishery remains largely unchanged today. Over the years, Nico has played an integral role in the management of southern African fisheries, serving on several industry committees and advisory panels in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique.