My venture into commercial fishing started while I was living in the Bahamas.
I met a Canadian, in 1980, who was employed as a consultant to the Government for the development of the fishing industry.
You have to keep in mind that the Bahamas is a positioned a mere 50 miles off the coast of Florida. The Bahamas is a 100,000 sq-mile archipelago that extends over 500 miles. It’s 700 islands total an estimated land area of 5,382 square miles and register a highest land elevation of 206 feet.
Therefore, fishing is a way of life. I don’t know any Bahamians that have not been out in a boat fishing.
The major export is lobster.
The government was promoting the development of other then lobster fishing – Pompano and Snapper.
My wife being Bahamian gave her the right to engage in this business. Rightfully so, Bahamians are very protetcive of foreigners fishing in their waters. Many a time I’d see a Cuban fishing boat tied up at the Nassau Docks; confiscted by the Bahamas Defense Force.
Throuhg a lot of investigation, networking, etc. I was able to purchase a 50 foot wooden commercial fishing boat and get the Captain to agree to come over and fish.
This began a few years of utter enjoymnet, frustration and experience dealing in a foreign country.
The utter enjoyment, to this day I have a hard time understanding. When I went out on a fishing trip I found peace while at sea – it the seas were calm. Beiing on the boat at sunrise and during the evening when we were not fishing had a calming effect on me. Maybe, way back I’m the offspring of Italian Fishermen.
The frustration came with working with a small country bureaucracy. You can get stopped by someone not moving one of the many forms, certificates, etc. to do business.
The business experience has helped me to better understand human nature. How we all have an agenda. The captain had his; the crew had theirs; our suppliers and customers each had theirs. The business objective was to get them all aligned to extract a profit from the venture.
The most stressful part of the venture was when I would be at our home in the US and get a marine call from the boat that they were stranded in the middle of the Atlantic.
I’ll leave this for antother time.
All in all, the nights on the water; calm seas and at peace with myself ant the world were “utterly enjoyable”.