, Salem, MA


March 13, 2013

A living from the sea

Danvers market owner used to fish for crabs in dangerous waters

DANVERS — Darryl Parker knows what it’s like to work on a commercial fishing boat in the perilous, icy waters of the Bering Sea, as in the hit TV show “Deadliest Catch.”

It’s considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, as fishing crews battle 25- to 35-foot waves to catch king crab.

With the award-winning show entering its ninth season next month, Parker, 60, reflected on his fishing days before moving back to his hometown and buying Cherry Street Fish Market 30 years ago. The market is now located at 26 Hobart St.

Growing up on Riverside Avenue in Danvers, Parker was drawn to the ocean from a young age. He was working on a lobster boat off Cape Cod from 1976 to 1978 when he got a phone call from friends living in Dutch Harbor and Kodiak Island in Alaska.

“They said, ‘You got to get out here. There is so much money,’” Parker recalled. “It was kind of like a gold rush.”

So, he headed to Alaska in search of a job in what was then considered the “Wild West” of the fishing industry.

“I would see boats come in, and I would walk down to the docks asking if they needed a deckhand,” he said. “That is how I got work at first.”

Parker’s work was similar to the television show, he said, but more dangerous, because of the lack of safety regulations for the boats and a different quota system that fueled higher competition among the different crews.

There was the time on the Iron Head, a schooner-style boat, when a fellow crew member went overboard. He remembers the captain struggling to maneuver the boat closer to the man so they could throw a buoy to him.

“We thought we were going to lose him,” Parker said. “You just focus on what you have to do to get him back to the boat. There is no real preparing for a situation like that.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX
Comments Trcker