Fishing is one of Alaska’s main commercial activities, employing thousands of residents and foreigners every year. The Alaska commercial fishing permits allow creating jobs and opportunities to produce a big cash income for the local economy.
Sure it is a dream come true for many people to work in Alaska’s fishing industry. The landscapes and wide variety of sea life are a must-see for everyone. But maybe you want to do some research before venturing out to work in the fishing industry in the northernmost part of the world.
Alaska Commercial Fishing Permits And Working Equipment
Every person who wants to work aboard a commercial vessel requires a permit authorized by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The permit lasts for 1 year and has an application fee of $250 plus any additional fisheries fee.
What type of equipment do you need? Commercial fishing is not just like a weekend getaway on a boat with your old lucky hat decorated with fish hooks. You need special equipment to protect yourself not only from the weather but when operating machinery as well. Here goes a list of the most important items you’ll need:
- Work boots: your feet are the most important thing to protect while moving onboard. Check that the material es good, thick, durable, chemical resistant, that the soles are non-slippy, and, of course, that they are waterproof.
- Oilskin: this garment made of PVC-coated synthetic fabric protects you from the head down to your knees. It is an expensive coat, so ask your employer if you’ll be provided with one.
- Hooded sweatshirts and sweatpants: comfort at home can also comfort aboard a ship. You can wear them under the fishing gear to keep you warm and comfortable all the time.
- Wool sweater: as above, wear it under the oilskin for extra warmth. Just make sure is not itchy.
- Rubber gloves: besides your feet, another important body part to protect is your hands. Get the heavy-duty ones, those that look heavy and ugly, yes. Fashion is not a must here.
Onshore Worker Housing
If you live near a fish processing plant, probably you can travel to work by public transport or your personal car. However, this is not the most common case in Alaska. Many processing plants are located in remote areas where you may have to settle for some time depending on the period your work stipulates.
In general, housing in Alaska tends to be limited and expensive. Accommodations are as wide as the Alaskan territory. If it is an important-luxurious company that hires you, you can expect food service, recreation facilities, laundry, and showers, among other amenities. In other places, consider yourself lucky if there’s any space to put a tent in a parking lot. Do some research on your own before signing on the dotted line.
A Piece Of Advice For Women
The number of female employees has grown considerably in the last years in the fishing industry. There are more women skippers full-women crew all around now, and many alists themselves to work on the summer season in Alaska due to good pay and experience.
However, in many aspects, the fishing industry is still pretty much male-dominated. You should be careful when accepting a job on a full-male crew ship. Out there in the middle of the sea, there is not much help to ask for if things get dangerous. Also, be sure that your contract specifies the duties you’ll be doing and for which you’ll be paid. Otherwise, you might find yourself cooking more than fishing.
Jobs for Non-US Citizens
Foreign individuals need a temporary work permit or a green card issued by the United States government to work legally in Alaska. The law forbids employers to hire illegal immigrants and fines are considerably high for them.
We strongly suggest you get your documentation promptly before venturing into Alaska for a job. You don’t only risk yourself to be deported, but also to be employed in poorly-paid places with questionable working conditions.
Get Your Commercial Fishing License Today
You can apply for a permit to work in the fishing industry in Alaska on our website. Click on the ‘State’ tab on the upper part of the page and then look for the ‘Alaska’ option. Next, click on the ‘Permit Forms’ and afterward on the ‘Commercial Fishing Permit Application’.
Contact us if you have any questions!