In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
Alert Bay fishermen storing their nets
Alert Bay fishermen storing their nets. 1944.
British Columbia Archives, I-20494
Workers Compensation Board Poster Workers Compensation Board Poster Alert Bay fishermen storing their nets table siener anf the crew the Westview Man on dock working with net

Life As A Fisherman

It is easy to think of commercial fishing as a hard, dangerous and demanding occupation.

It’s certainly not a life for everyone. Long hours, hard work and bad weather are enough to keep most people on land. But if you ask commercial fishermen about fishing for a living they will tell a different story. They will tell you about the breath-taking beauty of the open ocean, about the great excitement of a good catch of fish and about the personal satisfaction of a hard day’s work. While many fishermen admit that fishing can exact a physical and emotional toll, it is a small price to pay for a way of life keeps them coming back season after season to earn a living from the sea.

Fishermen have to commit to the life they have chosen. They have to be prepared. On the water, every decision is one of survival. Mistakes can be deadly. Fishermen have to know the fish they are after, how best to catch them, how best to bring them in and how to keep them fresh until they deliver to the buyers. They have to know the sea, the way it changes and how these changes affect their boat, their gear and the fish. They have to plan ahead and be prepared for all possible outcomes. Fishermen have to be businessmen, self-reliant, strong and adventurous.

Click here to read what fishermen themselves have to say about their life on the waters.

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