Thousands have seen the Alaska commercial crabbing industry in action on television. Get the truth about jobs in the crab fishing industry from an experienced veteran. Is it possible to break in as a greenhorn? Yes it is. In this extensive interview you'll learn how to find job openings, ways to approach skippers, and how much greenhorns can expect to earn in this lucrative fishery.
What made you want to work in the Alaska fishing industry?
Money! That's about it.
Tell us about the boat you work on.
Our boat targets red king crab, blue king crab, and opilio crab. All those fisheries use pots to catch the crab. The boat is registered in Petersburg, Alaska but based out of Seattle.
How many crewmembers?
What's your job title?
Describe the job. What are your responsibilities?
I work all positions on deck, cooking, and taking wheel watches when needed.
What roles do other people play on the boat?
Everyone takes turns working the same jobs on decks. You have to be able to do everything.
What are the expenses a greenhorn should be prepared to cover?
Usually a vessel will let someone new charge all that stuff (gear), then it is deducted fom his check after the season. Some boats buy your plane tickets, then take them out of your check, and some make you get them yourself.
Describe the typical "greenhorn" experience.
We usually treat the greenhorn pretty badly. It's like a constant "hazing," trying to "break" them. If they survive the season they become one of the team.
On the occasion you have down time, how do you spend it?
Watching movies, sleeping, and cooking.
What's the best advice anyone gave you about working in the industry?
Keep your mouth shut, pay attention, do what you're told, and be aware of what's going on.
What personal benefits/rewards do you find from working in the Alaska fishing industry?
A sense of accomplishment, and camaraderie with the crew.
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