Crew school for purse seiners opens in April

A rainbow among seine boats appears near Jack Bay in Prince William Sound on Monday, July 29, 2019. File photo by Alys Smith for The Cordova Times

Washington Sea Grant and the Gig Harbor BoatShop are launching a hands-on crew school to train individuals interested in working on commercial purse seiners in Alaska.

The curriculum, led by experienced captains and crew, will include instruction in classrooms, abord commercial fishing vessels in south Puget Sound, and in the historic Ancich Netshed on Gig Harbor’s waterfront. Cost of the program is $100 and includes two Washington Sea Grant Coast Guard-approved safety training courses: Sea Safety and Survival (drill instructor) and first aid at sea.

The six-day program starts April 11. The goal is to introduce basic skills needed aboard fishing vessels, primarily purse seiners, and to provide participants a window into life onboard a commercial fishing vessel. The program is also intended to help commercial fishing skippers find qualified crew.

Program participants will learn the basics of net mending, navigation, line handling and on-deck skills, including setting and hauling a purse seine net from a fishing vessel while it is underway.