New Zealand Commercial Fisherman – Crayfish

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc.).

Joseph, from Christchurch New Zealand, I’m 19 and a mechanic but used to be a commercial fisherman (ages 15-17)

2. Why did you want to become a commercial fisherman?

I love the sea and fishing so gave it ago and enjoyed every minute of it.

3. How do you find a job working in a fishery? Are there classified ads that show openings, or do you really need to just go up there and ask around?

My family owns 20 boats here in NZ.

4. What are captains looking for when they hire someone as a deckhand? Any tips for landing the job?

Someone who’s willing to work hard and be positive

5. What’s the hierarchy of positions on a boat? What does it take to work your way up to becoming a captain?

A lot of work and experience

6. You do this job seasonally. Can you make enough in a summer to last the rest of the year? If not, what do you and others do during the other months of the year? What is the average pay for a deckhand if you don’t mind sharing?

We work all year through, fish the winter Crayfish season on one side of the country then move to the other side of the country for summer, as a deckhand i was making $130,000 NZD a year

7. What’s an average day like for you?

wake up at 4am, get boat ready for day, run the crayfish lines until around 1pm. (we’d pull 250 cray pots up) clean boat until 2pm then relax for the rest of the day

8. What is the best part of your job?/What is the worst part of your job?

Being at sea is both the best and worst part

9. What is the work/family/life balance like for you?

Was pretty bad as why i moved to being a mechanic

10. What is the biggest misconception people have about your job?

The Money

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