Housing arrangements for Alaska fishermen and seafood industry workers vary widely depending on where they’re working. Options vary among regions, cities, and depend on whether you work onshore or offshore. The information below and throughout our Alaskan Fishing Jobs section will give you an idea of what to expect in the way of accommodations up north.
In general, if you’re working offshore, either as a processor or as a deckhand, your housing will be provided. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense for fishing boat captains and companies to expect employees to find their own housing while onboard a ship at sea! And in the case of canneries and fresh frozen processing plants on shore, the more remote the site, the more likely your housing will be provided (free or partially subsidized).
On the following pages you will learn about the different housing options available to fishing industry workers in Alaska. Learn about both offshore and onshore accommodations and what you can expect from each.
One thing to keep in mind regardless of where your Alaska housing is located, is the problem of having your mail delivered. If you don’t want to spend the money to rent a post office box (usually only available in 3-, 6-, or 12-month increments), you may want to simply have your mail sent to you by general delivery to the town where you will be living or docking. The post office will hold mail addressed “c/o General Delivery” for up to thirty days. Most seasonal fishermen don’t have their mail rerouted but instead, have someone from home take care of mailing and bills. It is a small but important detail regarding housing in Alaska.
Alaska Fishing – Offshore Accommodations
If you plan to work on a floating processor, factory trawler, or other fishing vessel you will probably eat and sleep onboard. Very few offshore companies charge a fee for room and board, in fact, very few fishermen who work on a ship ever report being charged for housing and food. These large ships provide rooms accommodating 4-12 people. Beds are usually bunks and the company may or may not provide bedding. Those desiring a comfortable sleeping area should bring their own sleeping bag and pillow, regardless of what is provided. These are the small luxuries that make a big difference at bedtime.
Employees should inquire about suitcase and personal baggage policies, as suitcases are sometimes not allowed because of space limitations. Many ships also provide limited onboard laundry facilities. Keep in mind that living spaces are small. Expect this, and pack accordingly.