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Fishers and Related Fishing Workers
SOC Code: 45-3011.00

Use nets, fishing rods, traps, or other equipment to catch and gather fish or other aquatic animals from rivers, lakes, or oceans, for human consumption or other uses. May haul game onto ship.

Sample of reported job titles: Captain, Clam Digger, Commercial Crabber, Commercial Fisherman, Commercial Fishing Vessel Operator, Crew Member, Deckhand, Fisherman, Lobsterman, Menhaden Fishing Crew Member


  • Steer vessels and operate navigational instruments.
  • Put fishing equipment into the water and anchor or tow equipment, according to the fishing method used.
  • Maintain engines, fishing gear, and other on-board equipment and perform minor repairs.
  • Sort, pack, and store catch in holds with salt and ice.
  • Remove catches from fishing equipment and measure them to ensure compliance with legal size.
  • Locate fish, using fish-finding equipment.
  • Return undesirable or illegal catches to the water.
  • Pull and guide nets, traps, and lines onto vessels, by hand or using hoisting equipment.
  • Direct fishing operations, and supervise fishing crew members.
  • Signal other workers to move, hoist, and position loads.
  • Compute positions and plot courses on charts to navigate vessels, using instruments such as compasses, sextants, and charts.
  • Oversee the purchase of supplies, gear, and equipment such as fuel, netting, and cables.
  • Attach nets, slings, hooks, blades, or lifting devices to cables, booms, hoists, or dredges.
  • Transport fish to processing plants or to buyers.
  • Interpret weather and vessel conditions to determine appropriate responses.
  • Wash decks, conveyors, knives, and other equipment, using brushes, detergents, and water.
  • Connect accessories such as floats, weights, flags, lights, or markers to nets, lines, or traps.
  • Load and unload vessel equipment and supplies, by hand or using hoisting equipment.
  • Harvest marine life for human or animal consumption, using diving or dredging equipment, traps, barges, rods, reels, or tackle.
  • Hire qualified crew members, and assign their duties.
  • Plan fishing operations, establishing the fish to be sought, the fishing location, the method of capture, and the duration of the trip.
  • Stand lookout for schools of fish, and for steering and engine-room watches.
  • Operate rowboats, dinghies, or skiffs to transport fishers, divers, or sponge hookers or to tow and position fishing equipment.
  • Sell catches by contacting and negotiating with buyers or by sending catches to fish auctions.
  • Club or gaff large fish to enable hauling them into fishing vessel.
  • Monitor distribution of proceeds from sales of catches to ensure that crew members receive their prearranged portions.
  • Record in logbooks specifics of fishing activities such as dates, harvest areas, yields, and weather and sea conditions.
  • Estimate costs of operations and plan fishing season budgets accordingly.
  • Share fishing expertise through activities such as writing for fishing magazines, hosting television shows, or testing and endorsing fishing equipment.
  • Participate in wildlife management, disease control, and research activities.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Catchlog Trading Catchlog; OLRAC Electronic Logbook Software Solution
  • Map creation software - MaxSea TIMEZERO; P-Sea WindPlot; Signet Nobeltec Catch
  • Route navigation software - MaxSea Time Zero Navigator NOAA

Tools Used

  • Anchor lines - Anchor chains; Anchors; Chain stoppers; Mooring lines
  • Anchor retrievers - Anchor release hooks
  • Anchor rollers - Electric windlasses; Hand capstans; Hydraulic capstans; Hydraulic windlasses (see all 5 examples)
  • Blocks or pulleys - Longline blocks; Snatch blocks; Trolling blocks; Wood shell blocks (see all 5 examples)
  • Boathooks - Boat hooks
  • Chest freezers - Bait freezers
  • Clock timers - Hook timers
  • Commercial fish hooks - Commercial fish or shark hooks; Dehookers; Gaffs; Harpoons (see all 5 examples)
  • Commercial fishing floats - Acorn buoys; Bullet buoys; Radio buoys; Toggles (see all 6 examples)
  • Commercial fishing line tackle - Float lines; Jigs; Thimbles; Trotlines (see all 9 examples)
  • Commercial fishing nets - Dip nets; Gill nets; Trammel nets; Triplex trawls (see all 23 examples)
  • Commercial fishing reels - Downriggers; Electric bottom-fishing reels; Longline haulers; Longline spools (see all 7 examples)
  • Commercial sinkers or weights - Commercial fishing line sinkers; Planers
  • Dewatering pumps - Bilge pumping systems
  • Dinghies - Fishing dinghies
  • Direction finding compasses - Magnetic compasses
  • Diving instruments or accessories - Scuba diving equipment
  • Dredgers - Fishing dredges
  • Electronic counters - Hook counters
  • Emergency medical services first aid kits - Marine first aid equipment
  • Farmers own file - Hook files
  • Fire extinguishers - Marine fire extinguishers
  • Fishing boats - Gillnetters; Large decked fishing vessels; Trollers; Undecked fishing vessels (see all 7 examples)
  • Fishing lures - Fish magnets
  • Fishing net haulers - Line haulers; Net haulers; Pot haulers; Shrimp winches
  • Fishing rods - Fishing poles
  • Flares - Distress flares
  • Hard hats - Marine hard hats
  • Hoists - Gypsy hoists
  • Hydraulic hand crimp tool - Hand crimpers
  • Insulated or flotation suits - Immersion suits
  • Knife blades - Fixed blade knives
  • Life rings - Life throw rings
  • Life vests or preservers - Fishing life preservers
  • Lifeboats or liferafts - Commercial fishing vessel lifeboats; Inflatable life rafts
  • Marine craft communications systems - Satellite radios; Very high frequency VHF radiotelephone systems
  • Marine fenders - Foam-filled marine fenders; Pneumatic marine fenders
  • Marine rudders - Drogues
  • Marine signaling systems - Distress flags
  • Needlenose pliers - Fishing pliers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Pisciculture supplies - Fish transfer pumps
  • Pressure or steam cleaners - Net cleaning machines
  • Pull spring balances - Digital spring balance scales
  • Radar reflectors - Marine radar reflectors
  • Radarbased surveillance systems - Marine radar navigation systems
  • Radio navigation instruments - Emergency position-indicating radio beacons; Radio direction finders RDF
  • Recreational rowboats - Fishing rowboats
  • Respirators - Half-face respirators
  • Restraint vests and jackets - Safety vests
  • Sextants - Marine sextants
  • Shears - Fishing scissors
  • Shovels - Ice shovels
  • Sonars - Fathometer sonar equipment; Fish finders; Multibeam sonar equipment; Searchlight sonars
  • Sporting traps - Crab pots; Eel traps; Trap harnesses; Weir traps (see all 8 examples)
  • Strobe or warning lights - Strobe lights
  • Tablet computers
  • Tag guns - Fish tag guns
  • Tongs - Crab tongs
  • Trawlers - Seiners
  • Utility knives - Fishing utility knives
  • Winches - Deck winches
  • Wire cutters - Wire rope cutters
  • Wire lug crimping tool - Bench-mounted crimpers
  • Workshop cranes - Knuckle-boom cranes


  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Dynamic Strength - The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium - The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.


  • Interest code: R
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 97% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 64% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 38% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 51% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Contact With Others - 51% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 37% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 48% responded “Important results.”
  • Physical Proximity - 42% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Keeping or Regaining Balance - 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 41% responded “Very serious.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 42% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 36% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 31% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 28% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Work Schedules - 54% responded “Irregular (changes with weather conditions, production demands, or contract duration).”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 27% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 30% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 28% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
50%Less than high school diploma
25%High school diploma or equivalent
10%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $13.61 hourly, $28,310 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 27,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 3,100

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