Other FishBiz Publications

Basic Startup Guide for the Direct Market Fisherman

Are you really cut out for direct marketing your fish? If so, what permits do you need, and how can you qualify?

This publication teaches direct market fishermen about the regulatory and permitting requirements they must follow, to lawfully sell catch from their vessels. Water supply, sanitation and chilling requirements must be adhered to. All legal aspects, as well as offloading, shipping, and records and reporting business hurdles, are clearly described.

Business Resource Guide for Alaska Fishermen

A list of contact information and brief descriptions of state and federal agencies, fisheries organizations, private nonprofits, and private companies in the following areas: aquaculture, business development, education and training, fisheries associations, fisheries and seafood technology, safety and health, seafood shipping, seafood processing and marketing, and trade shows.

Calculating Profitability for a Direct Marketing Operation

Starting a direct market business requires changes to a traditional fishing operation. Before taking the plunge, a fisherman should weigh the costs against the benefits.

This publication takes you through the needed steps—writing a business plan, projecting cash flow and calculating a “”variable analysis.” Knowing the numbers before entering into direct marketing, or whenever you change your fishing operation, will help you make the right decision.

Catcher-Seller Presentation

Geared toward skiff-based fishermen, this presentation illustrates the basics of ADF&G catcher/seller permits.

Crew Contract

A crew contract template that may be modified to fit your needs.

Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual – 5th Edition

The 5th edition of the Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual is packed with updated information on branding, product placement, social media and emerging products for fishermen who sell their catch directly to buyers. First published in the 1990s, the manual has become a trusted, go-to resource for hundreds of fishermen-entrepreneurs. This new edition also has sections on accounting, insurance, digital marketing and commerce, and working with custom processors.

The Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual helps readers think through the myriad of issues so they can decide whether this business model is right for them. The manual also takes them to the next step and provides much of what one needs to know to launch a new business or fine tune an existing one

Regulations and interpretations do change, so please check with agencies for updates.

Published by Alaska Sea Grant and Washington Sea Grant.

Fishing Family Expense Tracking System

This in-depth publication, created by Oregon Sea Grant, provides a simple expense tracking system to help earmark family versus business finances.

Fuel-Saving Measures for Fishing Industry Vessels

This document summarizes methods for reducing fuel consumption and saving money, based on published studies and experiences of commercial fishing vessel operators.

On the fuel saving checklist are slowing down, keeping the bottom smooth and clean, reducing weight, watching the exhaust, checking propeller and steering, using Internet and AIS to monitor conditions, minimizing travel, keeping boat records and working with wind, tides and currents. Combining these small changes can result in significant improvement in fuel efficiency.

Getting the Most Value when Buying Fishing Vessel Insurance

Most fishing vessel owners turn to commercial insurance markets to buy policies, but it can be a challenge to find the right policy at the best price. This publication has answers to most preliminary questions boat owners ask about insuring a vessel.

The range of risks to operators, insurance terms, and fishing vessel policy components are clearly laid out, from hull and machinery and P&I to crew coverage and moorage insurance. Guidance is provided on gauging the amount of insurance needed, getting the best value, and risk management tips.

How to Make a Directed Transfer of Your Fishing Business

Will your boat and permits remain in your family or community after you retire? The amount of capital required to enter the fishing business has increased, decreasing the likelihood that a new fishermen will be able to buy your business in one transaction. With forethought, however, you can still pass all or most of your business assets to a person or group in a “directed transfer.”

This publication introduces established fishermen to the subject of retiring from fishing, discusses transfer strategies and examines tax/retirement implications. By encouraging established fishermen to pass on their business skills, this book also helps foster the next generation of Alaska fishermen.

Labeling Requirements for Alaska Seafood Processors

Alaska commercial seafood processors must label their product according to state and federal regulations. This publication makes clear what information is required—company name, name of seafood, ingredients, permit number, date, weight, care of product, etc.

In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration requires larger companies to state nutritional content on the label. Getting your labels right is an important part of running a legal, profitable business.

Participation Loans

Participation loans are provided to borrowers by both the seller and a bank, with the seller acting as a kind of “guarantee” on loans that would otherwise be out of a buyer’s reach financially.

This presentation provides introductory information on these types of loans. Contact your lender for details.

Pro Forma workbook instructions

Instructions for using the Pro Forma Fishing Vessel Operational Analysis workbook.

Q-Calc instructions

Instructions on how to use the Q-calc spreadsheet.

Saving Money with Fishing Vessel Audits

Fishing vessel energy audits have resulted in useful hints to reduce overall operation costs. The authors report initial outcomes of a State of Alaska-funded project showing vessel owners how much energy each vessel system and its operations consume, including propulsion, electrical, hydraulics, and refrigeration.

Based on audits, engineers recommend several energy conservation measures (ECMs) such as slowing down, “right sizing” generators, turning off electrical devices when not needed, declutching hydraulics when not in use, and purchasing premium efficiency compressors. Vessel owners are invited to use energy calculation software tools and participate in audits.

The Business of Fishing: Managing Finances

This publication outlines the basic building blocks for financial management for fishermen, including bookkeeping systems and accounting methods. All fishermen, even those who hire an accountant to keep the books, will benefit from mastering the basics of financial record-keeping.

In the big picture, financial management involves developing accurate business records, controlling finances for better business decisions and analyzing future opportunities.

The Onboard DEC Inspection

Written for Alaska fishermen with direct market permits, this publication informs captains of small vessels, who process their own fish, how to prepare for a Department of Environmental Conservation inspection.

Operators are advised to have paperwork in order, and to demonstrate that they follow hazard analysis and sanitation protocols. In addition, the inspection is a good opportunity to discuss health aspects of new ideas for fishing business growth, with the DEC inspector.

Tips for Managing Yearly Fishing Income

When the fishing season is over, it’s time to act on financial strategies for your fishing business. This publication will help you organize a financial management to-do list: meet your tax preparer, strategize long-term investment in your operation, pay down debts and save for retirement and next year’s start-up.

Whether captain or crew, the season is not done until bills are settled, the boat is winterized, taxes are estimated, and business, family, and personal financial needs are evaluated.

Working with a Broker or Trader

This publication answers several questions about the seafood brokering and trading business, including what they do, why you might want to use one, how to forge a mutually beneficial relationship, and how you can protect yourself when expanding your business in this way.

Understanding how a broker or trader operates will help you analyze whether employing one is an appropriate addition to your direct marketing business.