Meet Phil Harris, Black Cod Fisherman

Uploaded by NOAAOceanMediaCenter on 15.03.2012

Meet Phil Harris, Black Cod Fisherman
Leaving San Diego Harbor
[ music ]

There's an old joke amongst fishermen.
Like, what would you do if you had a million dollars?
Well, the joke is, well, I'd just keep fishing.
The Southern California Bight
My name is Phil Harris.
I'm a commercial black cod fisherman,
otherwise known as sablefish.
Okay, we're using traps.
I've got 12 traps on two strings.
We're fishing about a half a mile deep,
and our gear is about a mile long.
Has to be a little bit longer than
the depth of the water.
Basically, we run out and find the spot
drop our gear on the spot,
and let it soak for three to four days.
Then come back out to the same spot.
Hopefully you can find the gear and then pull it.
[ Shawn Collins: Out of the frying pan and into the fire. ]
In our industry, there is very little bycatch.
We catch a few red bottom fish called thorny heads
And that is about the only real fish bycatch there is.
We do catch a lot of California spiny king crab,
but we’re not allowed to keep them.
[ Shawn Collins: Ohhh, look at that, codzilla! ]

[ Shawn Collins: Whoa! ]
[ music ]

Our goal is to get fresh fish straight to the consumer.

[ Phil Harris: 57, 58 ]

[ Phil Harris: What does it read there, Nick? ]
This is the life that I think I want to live.
That's all.
I love it out here.
If I couldn't come out on the ocean,
I'd be less of a person.
[ music ]