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Once booming, fishing as an industry has experienced hard times in the past few decades. Little or no change in employment is expected for fishers through 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It predicts that the "best prospects should be with large fishing operations and for seasonal employment." The industry is affected by such variables as environmental law, ship maintenance costs, improvements in electronic and other fishing gear (which has limited the expansion in crew size), and the increasing use of "floating processors," which process "catches" onboard (further limiting employment opportunities). But such innovations can also help the industry—super-chilled refrigerator hulls help keep fish fresh for higher selling prices; color monitors help fishers perform their jobs more accurately by allowing them to see the nets and fish while still under water.
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