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What are the Different Types of Fishing Industry Jobs?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

Types of fishing industry jobs include jobs that are directly involved with fishing and jobs that are an outgrowth of the industry itself. These types of jobs often involve distribution of goods or services intended to serve the fishing industry. An example of these types of fishing industry jobs include the sale or manufacture of fishing equipment and accessories.

Many people who work in the fishing industry work as anglers. In some cases, anglers own their own boats and sell their catch to local grocers or fish markets. Typically, the angler who owns the boat employs others to assist with the daily catch, and this is more common when fishing is conducted in ocean waters, where the work is usually more than one person can handle. Fish that are commonly sold in local fish markets include tuna, whitefish, and flounder. Lobster and oysters are also popular open market seafood.

An Atlantic salmon.
An Atlantic salmon.

Commercial fishing is responsible for most of the fish sold in groceries and fish markets. Commercial fisheries use very large ships capable of hauling in tons of fish in one outing. Many people looking for fishing industry jobs begin their search with commercial fisheries because they usually offer more job opportunities at a better salary. In addition, many of the larger companies offer benefits and some measure of job security.

Wild-caught fish.
Wild-caught fish.

Some fishing industry jobs are seasonal and revolve around sport fishing. These jobs might include managing charters and boat rentals, guiding fishing excursions, and teaching beginners how to fish. Seafront tourist destinations are usually a good place to look for sport fishing jobs.

Fishing industry jobs that require a great deal of education and training include boating design, navigation engineering, and engine maintenance. In most cases, these jobs offer higher paying salaries, but may be more difficult to obtain. People looking for this type of employment should probably begin their applications with commercial shipbuilders.

Many people who work in the fishing industry are anglers.
Many people who work in the fishing industry are anglers.

Food processing is another employment sector of the fishing industry, because after fish are caught, they usually must be boned and cleaned. This typically occurs within a meat processing plant, which may employ hundreds of workers. To help ensure a steady stream of product, fish processing facilities are often under contract to various commercial fisheries. This type of work is often very labor intensive and usually does not pay well. Jobs in meat processing plants are often easy to secure because there is often a great deal of worker turnover.

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Discussion Comments


I think the fishing-focused reality shows on TV have brought the fishing industry some popularity, but I'm afraid these shows somehow romanticize the jobs on the boats. It's a tough, extremely dangerous job, and the fishermen are away from their families for long periods of time.

Working in the processing plants is tough, too. Just ask the folks in Pascagoula, Mississippi who work in the pogy plant. It's not a fun job.


If I had to have a job, I might consider working in a fish processing plant, but I'd have to be in dire straits to do it. The smell alone would be nearly unbearable. But, if you have to feed a family, you'll do a lot of things you thought you couldn't do.

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    • An Atlantic salmon.
      By: Witold Krasowski
      An Atlantic salmon.
    • Wild-caught fish.
      By: FOOD-pictures
      Wild-caught fish.
    • Many people who work in the fishing industry are anglers.
      By: cybercrisi
      Many people who work in the fishing industry are anglers.