Living Off the Pacific Ocean Floor: Stories of a Commercial Fisherman

Living Off the Pacific Ocean Floor: Stories of a Commercial Fisherman

by George Moskovita


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In this authentic account of a seafaring life, Captain George Moskovita offers a highly personal and often humorous look at the career of a commercial fisherman. George Moskovita was sixteen when he graduated from high school in Bellingham, Washington, and went to sea. Fishing would take him crabbing off Alaska, seining for sardines off California and for tuna off Mexico, and catching soupfin sharks for their livers (a vital source of Vitamin A during World War II). He came to Astoria, Oregon, in 1939, where he was a pioneer of the Oregon ocean perch fishery.

In a career that spanned over 60 years, George Moskovita met with many maritime adventures, recounted for the reader in a clear, direct, and unsentimental style. He saw the fishery he had helped build devastated by foreign factory processing ships. He bought, repaired, traded, and sank more boats than most fishermen would work on in a lifetime. Along the way, he managed to raise four daughters with his wife, June. The name of one of his last boats, the Four Daughters, reflects the central importance of family life to a man who was often at sea. Moskovita’s memoir provides a unique glimpse of Pacific maritime life in the 20th century, small-town coastal life after World War II, and the early days of fishery development in Oregon.

With an introduction and textual notes by Carmel Finley, an historian of science, and Mary Hunsicker, an aquatic and fisheries scientist, this book will be invaluable to fishery students and professionals interested in the biology, ecology, and history of oceans and commercial fishing. It will also have broad appeal to readers of Oregon history and maritime adventure, and anyone else who has ever stood at the western edge of the continent and wondered what life was like at sea.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870718243
Publisher: Oregon State University Press
Publication date: 11/15/2015
Edition description: 1
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 799,347
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

George Moskovita was born in Bellingham, Washington, in 1913, the son of immigrant parents from Yugoslavia. To support the family, his father fished for crabs in Bellingham Bay. George started fishing for salmon at the age of 16, and never looked back. He died in 2004.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Introduction xi

Prologue 1

1 The Shaping of a Life 5

2 The Beginning of a Career 13

3 A Life on My Own 29

4 The First of Many 41

5 Out of the Ashes 53

6 A New Hope 67

7 Not Your Average Family 75

8 Keeping Them All Afloat 85

9 Recycling Before Its Time 93

10 Taking Bottom Fishing Too Literally 97

11 He Was a Character, That Guy 103

12 Fish Stories 111

13 A Risky Business 117

14 A Good Ending 127

Appendix: George's Boats 135

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