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For other uses, see Fisherman (disambiguation).
Fisherman and his catch Seychelles.jpg
A fisherman and his catch, including small sharks, hooked on hand lines miles offshore in the Seychelles
Names Fish-harvester
Occupation type
Employment, self-employment
Activity sectors
Related jobs
fish farmer

A fisherman or fisher is someone who captures fish and other animals from a body of water, or gathers shellfish.[1]

Worldwide, there are about 38 million commercial and subsistence fishermen and fish farmers.[2] The term can also be applied to recreational fishermen and may be used to describe both men and women. Fishing has existed as a means of obtaining food since the Mesolithic period.[3]


Egyptians bringing in fish and splitting them for salting
Main article: History of fishing

Fishing has existed as a means of obtaining food since the Mesolithic period. During the time of the Ancient Egyptians, fishermen provided the majority of food for Egyptians. Fishing had become a major means of survival as well as a business venture.[4]

Fishing and the fisherman have also influenced Ancient Egyptian religion; mullets were worshiped as a sign of the arriving flood season. Bastet was often manifested in the form of a catfish. In ancient Egyptian literature, the method that Amun used to create the world is associated with the tilapia's method of mouth-brooding.

Commercial fishermen[edit]

The fisherman – by Charles Napier Hemy, 1888
Main article: Commercial fishing

According to the FAO, there were about 39 million fishers in countries producing more than 200,000 tonnes in 2012, which is nearly 140% the number in 1995. The total fishery production of 66 million tonnes equated to an average productivity of 3.5 tonnes per person.[2]

Most of this growth took place in Asian countries, where four-fifths of world fishers and fish farmers dwell.[2]

Most fishermen are men involved in offshore and deep-sea fisheries. Women fish in some regions inshore from small boats or collect shellfish and seaweed. In many artisanal fishing communities, women are responsible for making and repairing nets, post-harvest processing and marketing.[2]

Recreational fishermen[edit]

Main article: Recreational fishing

Recreational fishing is fishing for pleasure or competition. It can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is fishing for economic profit, or subsistence fishing, which is fishing for survival.

The most common form of recreational fishing is done with a rod, reel, line, hooks and any one of a wide range of baits. Lures are frequently used in place of bait. Some people make handmade lures, including plastic lures and artificial flies.

The practice of catching or attempting to catch fish with a hook is called angling. When angling, it is sometimes expected or required that the fish be caught and released. Big-game fishing is fishing from boats to catch large open-water species such as tuna, sharks and marlin. Noodling and trout tickling are also recreational activities.

Fishing communities[edit]

Main articles: Fishing village and Artisan fishing

For some communities, fishing provides not only a source of food and work but also community and cultural identity.[5]

In the New Testament, Jesus is reported to have said to his disciples: Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.[6]

Safety issues[edit]

A Royal Air Force search and rescue Sea King helicopter comes to the aid of the French fishing vessel Alf during a storm in the Irish Sea.

The fishing industry is hazardous for fishermen. Between 1992 and 1999, US commercial fishing vessels averaged 78 deaths per year. The main contributors to fatalities are:[7]

  • inadequate preparation for emergencies
  • poor vessel maintenance and inadequate safety equipment
  • lack of awareness of or ignoring stability issues.

Many fishermen, while accepting that fishing is dangerous, staunchly defend their independence. Many proposed laws and additional regulation to increase safety have been defeated because fishermen oppose them.[7]

Alaska's commercial fishermen work in one of the world's harshest environments. Many of the hardships they endure include isolated fishing grounds, high winds, seasonal darkness, very cold water, icing, and short fishing seasons, where very long work days are the norm. Fatigue, physical stress, and financial pressures face most Alaska fishermen through their careers. The hazardous work conditions faced by fishermen have a strong impact on their safety. Out of 948 work-related deaths that took place in Alaska during 1990-2006, one-third (311) occurred to fishermen. This is equivalent to an estimated annual fatality rate of 128/100,000 workers/year. This fatality rate is 26 times that of the overall U.S. work-related fatality rate of approximately 5/100,000 workers/year for the same time period.[8]

While the work-related fatality rate for commercial fishermen in Alaska is still very high, it does appear to be decreasing: since 1990, there has been a 51 percent decline in the annual fatality rate. The successes in commercial fishing are due in part to the U.S. Coast Guard implementing new safety requirements in the early 1990s. These safety requirements contributed to 96 percent of the commercial fishermen surviving vessel sinkings/capsizings in 2004, whereas in 1991, only 73 percent survived. While the number of occupational deaths in commercial fishermen in Alaska has been reduced, there is a continuing pattern of losing 20 to 40 vessels every year. There are still about 100 fishermen who must be rescued each year from cold Alaska waters. Successful rescue is still dependent on the expertly trained personnel of the US Coast Guard Search and Rescue operations, and such efforts can be hindered by the harshness of seas and the weather. Furthermore, the people involved in Search and Rescue operations are themselves at considerable risk for injury or death during these rescue attempts.[8]

Types of fishermen[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 45-3011 Fishers and Related Fishing Workers US Department of Labor
  2. ^ a b c d FAO: Fishing people. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  3. ^ Early humans followed the coast BBC News articles
  4. ^ Fisheries history
  5. ^ International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF)
  6. ^ Matthew 4:19
  7. ^ a b FAO Profile for the USA
  8. ^ a b "NIOSH Commercial Fishing in Alaska". United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisherman — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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Mon, 08 Feb 2016 21:43:13 -0800

Dating or being married to a fisherman takes a special kind of person; we're a fiercly passionate and straight-shooting breed of outdoorsmen. While some men might attend a nice Friday night cocktail hour complete with unidentifiable hors d'oeuvres at a ...

WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

WTNH Connecticut News (press release)
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:18:45 -0800

SOUTH WINDHAM, Conn. (WTNH) — If you look out on Big Pond you can see open water but one man apparently thought it was a good idea to go ice fishing. “He was over in the corner over there,” says Devin Chappelle who grew up on the South Windham ...
Long Beach Press Telegram
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:33:45 -0800

The other night the sportboat Bongos fished Catalina for a couple of hours and caught 12 calicos and deployed their lobster hoop nets later for a limit of 54 bugs. They carried six anglers, two deck hands and the skipper. The limit for California spiny ...

MyArkLaMiss (press release) (blog)

MyArkLaMiss (press release) (blog)
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:26:15 -0800

MONROE -- Local fisherman Brett Preuett got a little boost in his bass master career, when Jason Bullock and the family of JPS businesses, including JPS Ford set Brett up with a new truck to get him around the country. After winning a couple of ...

Florida Sportsman Magazine

Florida Sportsman Magazine
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 07:33:45 -0800

The Creek Company recently introduced the Walton's Thumb® Fisherman's Multi-Tool. First made in the early '70s by Hank Roberts, this ingenious fisherman's tool has many unique and useful features for the fisherman. Named after Izaak Walton, famous ...
Burlington County Times
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:38:23 -0800

PALMYRA — The Fire Department will hold its 19th annual Fisherman's Flea Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, rain, snow or shine, at the Charles Street School on Charles Street. The charge for early admission from 8 to 9 is $10. Regular admission ...
Undercurrent News
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:58:11 -0800

Alaska salmon processor Icicle Seafoods has sued a fisherman who it extended more than $41,000 in credit to but who allegedly never repaid the debt, the company said. The Kodiak, Alaska fisherman, Randy Blondin, used the credit provided through a ...


Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:23:15 -0800

RENO, Nev (KOLO) - The body of a second fisherman who went missing in Pyramid Lake was recovered Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. The first was recovered Saturday. Authorities say the bodies were found just off Warrior Point in water about 130 feet deep.

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