cover of book

Living Off the Pacific Ocean Floor: Stories of a Commercial Fisherman
by George Moskovita
Oregon State University Press, 2015
eISBN: 978-0-87071-775-8 | Paper: 978-0-87071-824-3
Library of Congress Classification SH221.5.N65M67 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 639.209795

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.

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