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Details for Fishers and Related Fishing Workers


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.


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


  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
  • Experience - Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.


  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.


Related Careers

  • Agricultural Equipment Operators
  • Animal Breeders
  • Farmers and Ranchers
  • Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop
  • Farmworkers, Farm and Ranch Animals
  • Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders
  • Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers
  • Slaughterers and Meat Packers
Wages for this career
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