Friday, May 4, 2007

Exploring Jobs in the Fishing Industry

When it comes to taking a job within the fishing industry, there are plenty of areas to explore that deals with the commercial side of fishing and fish production. Each year, millions of tons of fish and other seafood products are consumed in the world, meaning there is a wealth of possibilities regarding this particular line of work.

Throughout the United States and Canada, there are many different freshwater fishing locations that provide outlets for employment. For example, the Manitoba commercial fishing industry offers work for more than 3,600 individuals, who are responsible for 25% of the freshwater fish supply for the country. Lake Winnipeg also provides many opportunities to make a living in the fishing industry. Commercial ventures in the area include the harvesting of whitefish, northern pike, yellow perch, and white bass.

Fishing Jobs

Fishers and other fish-related workers may use nets, fishing rods, and other equipment to trap and catch the creatures of the sea. The fish and other marine life caught are later sold to restaurants, open-air markets, or grocery stores. Depending on the type of fish caught, they may also become animal feed and bait.

Some workers in the fishing industry often work part-time or full-time on farms or boats. Employees that work on a boat, sometimes range from a handful of people to large crews. Smaller crews tend to establish their fishing operations close to land in shallow waters, while larger commercial boats sail hundreds of miles from shore to acquire tend of thousands of pounds of fish.

When boats are large and crews consist of a high number of people, a variety of positions are needed for a fishing expedition. A captain, first mates, deckhands, and a deckboss are just some of the titles that workers may undertake. A wide range of duties are also expected of the crew, including navigating the boat, operating the fishing gear, sorting fish, loading catches, and maintaining the boat.

Aquaculture is also a field that people find employment, where fish and shellfish are raised according to their species in fresh water, salt, or brackish water. Some individuals use ponds and floating net pens to cultivate the fish, where larger fish farms are situated by the sea and positioned close to the shore. The workers associated with aquaculture stock, feed, look after, and supervise the aquatic life in their care, which is later used for consumption or recreational fishing ventures.

Catching fish to make a profit is not the only way fishermen make a living. Some individuals with a boat rent out their equipment and vessel to tourists looking to catch their own fish. Some captains may offer their services and fishing boat to vacationers looking for a tour of the open water, especially when situated in tropical locations where sunset cruises and marine life sightseeing (such as dolphin or whale watching) are popular.

Moving away from the physical catching of fish, the industry also includes the fish-related jobs that take place inside of a factory. Fish cleaning, packing and packaging involves the deboning, removal of scales, and overall preparation of catches to create store-ready products.

When individuals are interested in working in the fishing industry, there are certain locations in the United States and Canada to seek out. For example, Alaska is known for offering many different fishing career opportunities, which can be found by visiting or contacting one of their many job centers. Community seafood employment specialists are situated at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Bristol Bay, Nome, Kodiak, Seward, and Ketchikan.

Some of the conditions associated with the fishing industry may prove too much for some. Although full season or contract work is available, there are a few basic criteria to satisfy in order to fit into the industry. Employees are often physically fit, able to handle long work hours, can move heavy objects, deal with wet and cold weather conditions, display a positive attitude, and follow safety rules and directions.

Education in the Fishing Industry

Depending on the type of career sought after in the fishing industry, you may or may not need education. Many individuals fall into fishing careers because it is a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Usually, relatives have been groomed to take over or contribute to a family business. Some people obtain secondary school education to thrive in the business or attend commercial fishing courses at the local community college.

Often, on-the-job training is enough to make a living in the field of fishing. Depending on where you land a job, certain positions call for licenses, such as the commercial fishing license needed to become a skipper in many locations. Local fishing unions may also point interested parties in the right direction.

The salary earned for a fisher and other related workers varies from state to state. In some areas, the median weekly earning regarding some of the largest occupations in the fishing field is about $400.

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