Joint-Venture Fishing

Joint Venture
Bering Sea


After graduating receiving my Master's Degree from the University of Washingtion I spent close to a year working as a "joint-venture representative." This job was somewhat similar to my work as a fisheries observer in that I spent long periods out at sea on foreign fishing vessels. However, in this case I was working for a private company that managed fishing operations between the foreign ships (in this case Korean) and American catcher boats. My job was to act as an intermediary between the foreign officers and the captains of the American fishing boats that delivered to the ship I lived on. Deliveries were made at sea with both vessels steaming into the wind at a couple knots. A long hawser was payed out by the ship I was on and the catcher boat following along behind would pick up the hawser and attach it the "cod end," sort of a large bag that came off the end of the seine net. A single cod end could contain as much as 60 or 70 tons of fish. The deliveries had to be carefully coordinated both in terms of scheduling and managing the actual delivery. That was a big part of my job. I would also make estimates of the tonnage of each catch. Payment to the fishermen would be based on a negotiation between myself and the Korean captain over the tonnage of each haul. I spent about eight continuous months aboard Korean vessels in the Bering Sea (From January to August) which put me on the very brink of insanity!

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