Seafood Processing Work
While aquaculture is defined as the controlled growth of aquatic species, the most significant reason for growing these species is for human consumption.
Therefore, the aquaculture industry would be nonexistent if not for these individuals in fish processing jobs. Once the aquatic species have reached full maturity, most need to be prepared for sale to markets or prepared for shipping to worldwide customers.
Companies involved in fish processing require individuals to directly handle and prepare the fish caught or shipped from fish farms. This is discussed extensively in the JobMonkey section about fishing jobs in Alaska – that shouldn’t be missed. The actions performed by seafood processors vary greatly. Some jobs require individuals to unload fish from a fishing vessel or shovel ice onto the vessels to keep the catch from spoiling. Other individuals pack fish into the ice to keep well during shipping times. Some individuals are expected to butcher and clean aquatic species, while others are responsible for weighing and recording fish handled to provide accurate records for financial purposes. Other positions require personnel to receive fish pieces, feed them into machinery for such procedures as canning or pickling operations and then package and ship products to various customers.
Seafood processing jobs exist in a variety of actual locations. Some are typical manufacturing facilities on land, but others are located close to fishing grounds, while still others are actually on the fishing vessels themselves.
There are generally no educational requirements for seafood processing roles. While previous experience as a seafood processor is generally desired, most employers do not make that mandatory. Qualities looked for in a seafood processor include the ability to handle physical labor safely, the availability to cover the full season for that specific aquatic species involved and the ability to understand and value the importance of cleanliness and food safety in the manufacturing area.
Seafood processor positions are generally paid hourly wages. During peak seasons, the processor can earn US$1,000 weekly or more, with higher amounts available for those willing to work overtime or achieve production bonuses. Many companies provide room and board for an entire season.
A fish processing position requires an individual with a strong stomach for handling fish and other aquatic species. The daily tasks involve dressing fish by gutting, scaling and filleting the meat into portions or fillets required by specific customers. Working conditions include daily contact with blood, fish entrails and the resultant odors. In addition to the working environment, a seafood processor must be able to work with diverse individuals to meet production goals.