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Old 10-09-2012, 03:21 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,146 times
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I'm currently doing research on working at a fish processor next summer. Though I have no problem with a processing job, ideally I'd like it to lead to work on a boat (with a good captain). To quote a response from another thread: “...but these days, most captains poach crew off their fish processors. Get a processing job and let it be known that you're willing to go out on an opening if the need arises.” I read this to imply a hard-working guy at a fish processor without boat experience can sometimes be offered a job on a boat.

My plan is to hit the Alaska summer jobs fair for fishing that happens in April and secure a fish processing job then (if I haven't already secured one online).

My questions are the following:

Is there a particular fish processor that is more likely to lead to my placement on a boat?

Is there a part of Alaska where fish processors generally pay more, as well as include room & board?

Thanks in advance for whatever help anyone can provide.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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I heard some of the guys working for Peter Pan Seafoods in Valdez saying they get benefits and 401k's.

PeterPan Seafoods, Inc.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
1,578 posts, read 1,632,514 times
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Ive seen fishing jobs come up on here:
Alaska Jobs | CoolWorks.com
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Rapid City, SD
25 posts, read 37,106 times
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Peter Pan Seafood has a big processing plant in King Cove on the Aleutian Chain. They pay plane ticket, room and board. There are a lot of fishing vessels in and out of the Cove and you might be able to land a job during Salmon season and then into crab season after you get to know the people in the town and get a reputation. The reason the Captains look to processors is because it is HARD work. That is a serious understatement. Long, cold hours on your feet working your ass off. I know a lot of people that work for PP. They are good people and PP is a pretty good company. The housing is "bunkhouse" living. Small shared quarters. And the food in the mess hall is pretty good. They even have steak night once a week.
I know Trident has a plant in Sand Point which is also pretty remote living and seems to operate pretty similar to PP.
You can apply for PP online and as long as you can pass a physical and drug test, you can pretty much get a job.. Good luck! Happy to answer any questions about KC.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:33 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure I wrote what you quoted in your OP some time ago.

Most of the big seafood processors provide room and board.

I don't know what processor is likely to lead to a job on a boat. That's all a matter of luck these days. But the biggest run next year will be in SE Alaska, and that's not saying much. I don't think that crew shares will be much next year either, although it's still a bit too early to tell.

Be careful of captains who advertise on Craigslist; that indicates that they have a tough time finding crew.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse85 View Post

Is there a particular fish processor that is more likely to lead to my placement on a boat?

.
To expound a bit, I think that it's probably tougher to get on the boat while working for one of the large processors, but then, that's only because of sheer numbers of people, many with the same idea...but small and medium sized processors are becoming more scarce every year.

The year before last, I couldn't keep young, strong men on my crew who were any good at all for very long because the seine captains would lure them away. But that was a record year; another year like it probably won't exist until '14.

This is just a long shot, but I'm thinking that your best chance might be with Trident in Ketchikan. Truly, though, if earning money is your object, you may be better off working a processing job for the season. Crew shares are always a gamble -- in 2010, I think it was, even some of the best captains ended the season without much to show for it.

Also, keep an eye on fuel prices -- that what kills a lot of profit for the commercial guys. If fuel prices are huge next summer, crew shares will be small simply because of the cost of running the vessel.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
1,430 posts, read 1,857,315 times
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I was able to get onto a shrimp boat in Kodiak in the mid 70’s by working at a processing plant on the dock. I got lucky and my job was off-loading the shrimp for processing so got to know the skippers and crews. One guy got hurt and couldn’t go out and I was ready to go. The stars all aligned and I got lucky. If you end up in a processing plant with your goal of getting on a boat, try getting a job on the docks and not inside the plant. Get to know the crew. They may only be in town for one night before heading back out and spending some time with them at the local bar doesn’t hurt.

As Met said, it’s more sketchy now days and there’s more risk. It was all “feast” with little “famine” in the 70’s. Not anymore.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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Thanks for the responses.

I'll look to work on the dock if I can and will be sure to buy drinks for whatever captains I run into. Yes, Metlakatla, it was you I quoted in my post. Many thanks for the good advice.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:13 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,146 times
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Wanted to post a followup. Thanks to the good advice from the above posts, I got on the dock at a cannery and subsequently was offered a deckhand position on a longliner. I'll be going back next year and will probably keep going back.

I've written a short ebook on my experiences and the craziness that went on at the cannery. Its called Slime Line: Adventures in Fish Processing. If anyone's interested they can check it out here:
Amazon.com: Slime Line: Adventures In Fish Processing eBook: Jesse Myner: Books
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:49 PM
 
16,047 posts, read 15,931,853 times
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Thanks for checking back and giving us an update; I'll definitely check out your book.
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