There’s no question that commercial fishing is a hard life. Forced to battle the elements, chase elusive and ever-changing stock, and live life in close quarters, captains and crew members alike often trade the comforts of home for opportunity on the open water.

In this new research, conducted with 362 captains and crew members operating through United States fisheries, we examine the demographics of those who work in the industry and the way that captains operate their vessels. How do they contract with crew members? How are crew members compensated? What do crew members value in a potential job? And how are all of these factors affected by where and how you’re fishing?

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