It is claimed that a fisherman has the hardest job in the world. Towering waves, cold, damp, hellish winds and ships covered in an icing powder dusting of ice. The visual appearance of all this is the only possible romantic aspect.
Corey Arnold’s ‘Fish-Work: The Bering Sea’ series offers a closer look. Yes, it is a rough life and as his photo book shows, a pretty bizarre one too. But it is breathtakingly beautiful.
‘Fish-Work: The Bering Sea‘ was a challenge. The photographer from Portland faced his fears and seasickness to sail the high seas between Alaska and Siberia. And capture the fishers’ lust for life. Photographer and fisherman Corey Arnold spent seven years there on a trawler. Due to over-fishing, fishing has been regulated in the Bering Sea since 1999 and is supervised by ocean biologists stationed on trawlers. His skilful compositions depict the simultaneous bravery, toil, humour and gumption that ‘fish-work’ demands.
The Bering Sea isn’t exactly a holiday destination or tourist Mecca, because whoever chooses to travel to where the unforgiving waves swallow up everything, has to take a risk. But it is a risk that pays off.
Corey Arnold has in fact survived several seasons and lets us take part in his experience. He has been a passionate fisher since childhood, worked as a deckhand on trawlers for many a year and documented his experiences of the high seas and whale fishers, rough weather and seabird casualties.
Born in California, 1976, he broke off university to pursue his photography studies at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He has been pursuing both of his passions ever since, has works on trawlers and as a freelance high seas fisherman and simultaneously documents his experiences in photographs. His work has been published in magazines including Esquire, The Paris Review and Artweek.
‘Fish-Work: The Bering Sea’ is printed in large format and is available in a first edition of 1,000 from Nazraeli Press.
Fish-Work: The Bering Sea
80 pages, $65
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