Industries & Professions /
Now that large corporate fishing fleets dominate the fishing industry, most fishing is done from large commercial vessels that employ many fishers as crew. The captain plans and oversees the entire fishing operation. He or she decides which fish should be caught, where they will best be found, the method of capture, the duration of the trip, and how the catch will be sold. The captain also makes sure the sailing vessel is in suitable condition and hires and supervises crew members. The first mate is the captain's assistant. He or she must be familiar with navigation requirements and up-to-date on all the latest electronic devices used on fishing boats. The mate, under the supervision of the captain, oversees the fishing operations and the sailing responsibilities of the deckhands. The boatswain is an experienced deckhand with some supervisory responsibilities. He or she directs the loading of equipment and supplies onto the vessel before it sets sail. The boatswain also operates and repairs much of the fishing gear. The deckhands do much of the actual fishing. Deckhands release and pull in nets and lines and extract the catch from the lines or nets. They wash, salt, ice, and store the fish. Deckhands also make sure that the deck is clean and clear at all times and that the vessel's engines and equipment are in working order.