Local fishing family hopes to bring the Fishermen’s Association into the 21st century
Exposure to the elements, manual labor, and sleepless shifts that can last for days on end make fishing a rare career aspiration in this digital day and age. In fact, Captain Joe Stoops, the newly appointed president of the Santa Cruz Commercial Fishermen’s Association (SCCFA), calls his much-loved career “a thing of the past” and says he went through 14 deck hands in 2011 alone.
“There’s not a lot of young kids getting into this,” he says. “People don’t have calluses anymore.”
Stoops, motioning with his visibly callused hands, adds that the amount of fishermen in Santa Cruz today is less than a third of the number present 20 years ago.