How to Find a Job as a King Crab Fisherman
Alaska crab-fishing is a very dangerous job. Every year, the fearless crab fishermen of North America fight against the worst weather conditions and work environment to get as many king crabs as possible. The Alaska king crab, is by the way, considered to be the most desirable seafood of the world!! People come from all parts of the world to savor the rich taste of the Alaska king crab.
Seeking employment in Bristol Bay, where Alaska crab fishing mostly occurs, is not that easy. Due to its' danger, the newcomer seldom gets a job as crab fisher. It is better to first seek some employment as a deckhand or a salmon fisher in one of the trawls or boats. Employers in these boats don't seek prior experience. Once you get enough experience fishing salmon, you can try out for some work in an Alaska crab fishing job. It is better to try this out in the winter months, when the catch is smaller, thus providing ample experience to the newcomer in the art of crab fishing. It is only after working as a crab fisherman during winter, without facing any mishappenings, that one can consider seeking employment in Alaska crab fishing job in the summer.Alaska crab fishing jobs pay well. It is based on a share or percentage of the harvest earnings of the king crab. Usually, the operating expenses, the skipper's and owner's shares are subtracted and the remainder is then divided amongst the crab fishermen and deckhands. Based on this calculation, a job in an Alaska crab-fishing job earns anything between zero to tens of thousands of dollars a month! The larger the haul is, the larger is the pay. Morever, there is not much expenditure for the crab fisherman. This is because on getting employment on an Alaska crab-fishing job, the crab fisherman will be offshore most of the time. The skipper and captain provide the necessary food and accommodation. Being offshore, there are no distractions for the crab fisherman to waste money on. So those working offshore, usually have bigger balances with themselves to those working onshore!
The only expenditure the Alaska crab fishing crew will have to bear are the expenses for their own gear, which may add up to several hundred dollars. This gear includes wet-weather gear, gloves, wrist covers, rubber boots and a sleeping bag. In some cases, the crewmembers will also have to pay for a share in their boat's operating expenses of food, bait, fuel and ice.
The boats that are used for catching fish are about 150 feet long, with some of them being only 100 feet long. The Alaska crab fishing job involves the catching of crabs using large steel crab pots. These pots are baited with a combination of chopped herring and cod or salmon. These pots are usually 7' x 7' x 3', and weigh 700 pounds. These bait pots are lowered to the ocean floor using hydraulic launchers and are later retrieved using hydraulic winches. When catching king crabs, only the male king crabs measuring 6.5 inches are kept; the female and juveniles are tossed back into the sea. Most of the time, as many as six crabs are discarded for each legal male king crab that is kept!
While seeking employment in the Alaska crab fishing job, it has to be borne in mind that crab fishing is indeed extremely hard work. You have to be ready to work for 20-21 hours in a day when the catch is good, and should not be afraid of braving the storm in heavy icy conditions to end up working round-the-clock!