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Aboard a Russian pollock trawler

Alaska Dispatch

If you've ever wondered what life is like aboard a Russian pollock trawler fishing the eastern North Pacific, Russia Beyond the Headlines offers a glimpse through the crew of the Taivaniya.

The report says that prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, there were as many as 150 boats fishing the waters of the Russian Far East, but now there are fewer than 20. The Taivaniya is one of only two trawlers targeting pollock in the region. The other is the Kapitan Lapkin.

The operation described in the feature is basically the same as on the American side of the Pacific, but there are little differences.

Crewmembers in Russia reportedly don't sign for a specific job on board a ship. A crew job is offered, and a person is assigned as needed, take it or leave it. The strongest people usually are placed in the refrigerated hold stacking fish.

The pollock season reportedly runs year-round where these boats work, and in recent years, fishermen say they have started having to work 8 months a year to make the same money they used to make in 6 months or less.

The current price in Russia for a pollock? 1 Ruble per pound (about $.03) for a fish up to 12 inches long, 1.25 Rubles per pound for any larger than that.

Read much more, here, and be sure to check out the slideshow gallery; it contains a photo of the most adorable little deckhand in the entire world.