The commercial fishing industry is complex, including multiple fisheries each with its own characteristics and job descriptions. The crew of a commercial fishing vessel may include some or all of the following: a captain, mate, engineer, deckhands and cook. While all fisheries are represented within the New Bedford/Fairhaven fleet, scalloping (sea scallops) and groundfishing (targeting haddock, cod, flounder, and other species that swim in the lower water column) predominate. Additional fisheries include red crab, deep sea clam, lobster, herring, as well as gillnetters and longliners.
Most New Bedford boats fish about 200 miles off-shore in areas such as George’s Bank and Hudson Canyon. Boats may be out to sea for anywhere from 5 to 16 days depending on where they are fishing, the species they are targeting, and the regulations that govern the particular fishery.