Fishers and Related Fishing Workers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Wire Web Worker
  • Wild Oyster Harvester
  • Whale Fisherman
  • Weir Fisherman
  • Weir Fisher
  • Waterman
  • Vessel Crew Member
  • Underwater Hunter Trapper
  • Tuna Purse Seiner
  • Troller
View All

What They Do

  • 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.
  • Estimate costs of operations and plan fishing season budgets accordingly.
  • Record in logbooks specifics of fishing activities such as dates, harvest areas, yields, and weather and sea conditions.
  • Monitor distribution of proceeds from sales of catches to ensure that crew members receive their prearranged portions.
  • Club or gaff large fish to enable hauling them into fishing vessel.
  • Sell catches by contacting and negotiating with buyers or by sending catches to fish auctions.
  • Operate rowboats, dinghies, or skiffs to transport fishers, divers, or sponge hookers or to tow and position fishing equipment.
  • Stand lookout for schools of fish, and for steering and engine-room watches.
  • Plan fishing operations, establishing the fish to be sought, the fishing location, the method of capture, and the duration of the trip.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: R.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • 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.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Preparation Required

Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.


In 2015, the average annual wage in California was $32,560 with most people making between $19,480 and $47,390


avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 1,100 people in California. It is projected that there will be 1,200 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 10 openings due to growth and about 30 replacement openings for approximately 40 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation