Happy New Year, y’all! And what better way to start a new decade than meeting another strong woman in our POCF community.
The further we get into the spiny lobster season here in California, the more I notice how aggressive fishermen can get. The pressure to make money is always there, and some feel it more than others. For example, a fisherman recently yelled at Chris for fishing in the same area as him (it’s a free country, buddy), and I’ve heard of others who have gotten in literal fistfights on the docks. Seriously.
So, I felt pretty validated when Australian POCF, Angela Barnes, revealed the biggest eye-opener for her when first getting into this lifestyle: “I was surprised at how competitive the industry is, also the huge amount of work that is involved in the whole process of running a commercial fishing business.” How else are Australian commercial fisheries like us in the U.S.? Angela explains!
POCF Angela Barnes Tells Us They Do It Down Under
What is your name, how old are you, and where are you from?
Angela Barnes, 36, from Port Broughton, South Australia.
What is your fisherman’s name, and what & where does he fish?
My commercial fisherman’s name is Jarrad Barnes, and he is a Blue Swimmer Crab fisherman in Spencer Gulf, South Australia.
What’s his boat name?
What technique does he use to fish? (i.e., long line, traps, net…)
He fishes traps, known in Australia as “crab pots.” We also have a line boat (hooks), which we hand line pink snapper.
How long have you been together?
We’ve been together for 16 years and married for 9. 💗
What do you for your commercial fishing business?
Administration, bookkeeping, and social media.
What was the biggest surprise to you when you first got into this lifestyle?
I was surprised at how competitive the industry is, also the huge amount of work that is involved in the whole process of running a commercial fishing business.
What tips can you share with others navigating this POCF life?
- Fishing and boats always come first, and you need to work your life around this.
- Commercial fishermen work long hours. My husband often starts at 4 am daily during the season, and he is fairly tired when he gets home from being on the water for a few days.
- Just try and be as supportive as you can.
What is the most challenging part of being a POCF?
Husband is away a lot, and it does get hard! Especially when you have children. I’m so grateful for the relationship my husband has with our girls; he puts a lot of effort in with them whenever he can.
What is the most fun?
Being able to get out on the water! Whether it be going out for the odd trip on the crab boat or taking our girls out on the hook boat, I’m always at peace when I’m on the water. No housework or dirty laundry…so much fun!!
What would you like others to know about Australian commercial fishing?
Australia has some of the cleanest pristine waters producing some of the world’s finest seafood. Australia has very strict fisheries management in place, resulting in sustainable fishing practices.
One more question for you if you feel comfortable sharing: trade wars are new to me, and I see what Australia is in the middle of one with China. What is your experience with dealing with one? How do you prepare/sustain through a volatile market like this?