What does a Fishing Worker do?

Median Pay $29,280
Growth Rate 7%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

Fishing workers locate, trap, and catch a variety of aquatic life which are used for bait, food, and other uses. They may work in deep or shallow water and fish for long days at sea or shorter durations depending on what they are gathering.

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How to Become a Fishing Worker

what does a fishing worker do

Although a formal education is not a requirement you may improve your chances of employment by attending a 2-year vocational-technical school. There are some colleges and universities that offer courses in marine safety, seamanship, vessel repair and operations, fishing gear technology, and navigation. Most programs include hands-on experience and are typically located near coastal areas. However, most workers learn on-the-job beginning with cleaning and sorting the fish, operating the boat, and fishing equipment.

Job Description of a Fishing Worker

The duties of a fishing worker includes using equipment to locate fish and signal other workers to position loads, hoist, and move the catch. They steer the vessels, maintain fishing gear, engines, and other equipment. They are responsible for sorting, packing, and storing the seafood appropriately by using ice or other freezing techniques. The lure the legal size and variety of fish they are meant to catch and release unusable seafood back to their habitat. A fisher worker must also guide nets, lines, and traps into vessels with hoisting equipment or by hand.

Fishing Worker Career Video Transcript

Fishers and fishing workers experience the thrill of the catch, along with long waits and fruitless searches. They use nets, fishing rods, traps, and other equipment to catch and gather aquatic animals. The fishing boat captain runs the fishing operation and decides where to fish and when to return to port. Fishing deckhands perform the everyday tasks of baiting, setting lines or traps, hauling in and sorting the catch, and maintaining the boat and fishing gear.

On larger operations, crews work together hoisting heavy nets or using machinery to move large catches. They may be at sea for weeks or even months. Some fishers work on small boats with a crew of just one or two, using nets or dredges, or setting out pots and traps for lobsters and crabs. Some workers rake for kelp and other marine vegetation. Commercial fishing can be dangerous and medical care is often not immediately available. Many fishers are self-employed and are also seasonal workers, working long hours at strenuous tasks.

There is no education requirement for fishing; most learn on the job. Captains must be licensed. Fishers need a permit to fish in almost any water. Permits specify the fishing season, the type and amount of fish that may be caught, and sometimes, the type of permissible fishing gear.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fishing and Hunting Workers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 45-3011.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.