Norman Mullan

How long have you been fishing?

I’ve been told I was out on the boat when I was in diapers, but I’ve been doing it full-time since I was 16. My dad was a fisherman all his life—starting back when salmon was the only commercial fishery—and his father before him.

Tell us about your boat.

It’s a 58-footer, Hull #1, built in 1989 by Fred Wahl. It’s called Cindria Gene, named after my kids: Cindy and Alexandria, and my boy’s middle name is Gene. It’s rigged for longlining halibut and pot fishing Alaska cod. A younger guy who works with me during the halibut season runs it for cod during the winter.

Do you ever fish with your family?

My boy fishes with me for halibut. He’s got a nine-to-five job the rest of the year but he gets his little fix. And I get to spend time with my son.

How important is sustainability to you?

Oh, very important. Sustainability means that future generations can have a lifestyle like mine, and that there will always be enough fish to go around. It’s a good living, and a good life—independence, challenges, freedom. With the quotas and regulations and all, the season is shorter but I’d rather fish a little for a long time than fish a lot and have it disappear.

Why do you like fishing so much?

I was born and raised into it, and I still love it. Every day is different. Even when you’re fishing the same grounds every day, the scenery is always different. You get your freedom, and you get your return by what you do—hard work pays off.

Getting There