A Portrait of Canada's West Coast Fishery
Working the Tides
Working the Tides makes it possible for readers to go aboard the small ships of the west coast fishing fleet and see the world as fishers see it.
Book DescriptionCommercial fishing boats like the Bluenose on the Canadian dime and the west coast seine boat portrayed for so many years on the five-dollar bill have long ranked up there with grain elevators as key images by which Canadians know themselves, but even those familiar with British Columbia's high-profile salmon fishery probably know little about hake trawling, the sea urchin dive fishery or the geoduck business.
Here is the story of the man who ran away from school at age fifteen to handline coho out of a dugout canoe; the seiner who made his living outsmarting the wiliest of all salmon, the Nimpkish dogs; the crew that knows how to get the best from a fifteen-minute herring opening; the sea urchin diver who got stranded in the middle of a cold, rough sea when his boat drifted off; and the woman who survived a seeming lifetime trapped inside an overturned seine boat.
Working the Tides covers the waterfront, presenting gripping insider views not just of the familiar salmon trollers and seiners, but of the men, women and boats that harvest cod, herring, halibut, octopus, and rockfish – eighty different species in all. Almost all the material in Working the Tides is drawn from the archives of BC's leading commercial fishing magazine, the Westcoast Fisherman, which in 1996 celebrated 10 years of publishing. Like the fishing life itself, this collection ranges from scary to funny to poignant to quietly insightful - with big hauls and "skunked" sets, beautiful secluded fishing spots, hair-raising storms and near misses, goofy sea-going pranks, and even a spine-tingling wheel-watch ghost or two. There is never a dull moment.