Industries & Professions /
Once booming, fishing as an industry has experienced hard times in the past few decades. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for fishers will decline moderately through 2020. It predicts that the "best prospects should be with large fishing operations; opportunities with small independent fishers are expected to be limited." 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.