How much do tuna fishermen make? (+3 safety Tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “How much do tuna fishermen make?”, and what are the salary ranges for Deckhand Tuna Boats?

How much do tuna fishermen make?

A tuna fisherman receives a specific percentage of the fishing vessel besides his base salary. Half the net proceeds from the catch go to the captain while the low-rank crew members get a smaller percentage of the net profit. 

The net profit is calculated after subtracting the expenses such as fuel, repair costs, and maintenance. Each crew member receives a certain the amount of profit as per his ownership percentage. 

This article briefly explains how you can safely store and safely eat raw tuna. Read on If you want to know about the national, state, and industrial income of tun fishermen.

National, State and Industrial income of Tuna fishermen 

In 2010, the per annum average salary of the tuna fisherman of the USA was $27,880, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average per annum salary of some of the highest-paying tuna fishermen states is as follows.

Washington $30,240 per year$14.54 per hour 
Massachusetts $30,020 per year$14.43 per hour
Virginia $29,710 per year $14.28 per hour
New Jersey $22,470$10.80 per hour 

The highest annual salaries were paid to the employees of the federal government, averaging around $42,420 per year. The average salary of the tuna fishermen in different industries is given in the table below.

The seafood product preparation and packaging industry$31,260 per year
The grocery wholesaler market $26,120
Sightseeing industry$22,440 per year

Salary ranges for Deckhand Tuna Boats 

The Deckhand Tuna Boats in the US receive an average salary ranging from $36,453 to $53,142, with a median salary of $42,703. 

The middle 50% of Deckhand Tuna Boats earns about $42,703 and $46,177, with the top 83% earning about $53,142.

How long is tuna fish good for in the refrigerator?

An opened can of tuna only lasts 1-2 days in the fridge at a steady temperature of 4 degrees or below. After opening the can, tuna should be transferred to an air-tight container or plastic bag before storing it in the fridge.

Freezing the canned tuna will extend its shelf-life. Read on if you want to know how to freeze store canned tuna fish.

How to freeze tuna?


Wash the raw tuna thoroughly. Pat dry the tuna using a paper towel. It is important to get rid of all the surface moisture because it will spoil the texture and flavor of tuna when frozen. The other method is to freeze-store raw tuna after dipping it in an acidic solution.

To prepare the solution, add 1Tsp ascorbic acid and ½ cup of salt to a quarter cup of water. Dip the tuna fish in this solution and let it stay for about 5 minutes. 

Then wrap the fish tightly with a plastic sheet or aluminum foil. You can also put it in a freezer bag. Keep the wrapped tuna in the freezer. For defrosting, place the frozen tuna in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. 


Canned tuna should never be stored in its original metal packaging. Transfer the tuna from its original container and put it in a zip-lock or a freezer bag. The metal will not protect the tuna from freezer burn. 


Cooked tuna as in the form of tuna salad can be stored in the freezer. Simply toss the leftover tuna in a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air from the bag and keep it in the freezer. Do not forget to label the bag.  Store in small batches to avoid defrosting bulk when you need it.

How to safely eat raw tuna?

Freezing and cooking procedures can eliminate the parasites and risk of food-borne illnesses that result from eating raw tuna. 

The FDA recommends freezing tuna according to the following guidelines for the safe consumption of tuna.

  • Freeze at -4℉/-20℃ or below for 7 days
  • Freeze at -31°F/-35°C or below until solid and keeping at -31°F/-35°C or below for 15 hours
  • Freeze at -31°F/-35°C or below until solid and keeping at -4°F/-20°C or below for 24 hours

Frozen tuna should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Defrosting on the counter increases the risk of contamination and food-borne illnesses.


In this article, we answered the question “How much do tuna fishermen make?”, and what are the salary ranges for Deckhand Tuna Boats?