The Life Aquatic

Fisherman,  Lobstermen, Crabbers, Shrimpers, Charter Boat Captains, Dive Professionals, Aquaculturists, Salvagers, Wildlife Rehabilitators,  Bridge Inspectors, Homeland Security Agents, Smugglers, Law Enforcement Officers, Scientists,  Merchant Marine and even Treasure Hunters are all part of the motley workforce found exclusively on Florida’s waters.

The maritime trades have been a place where men and women of all colors and creeds have found equity and opportunity for centuries.  A unique distinction that has transcended governments, social mores and even traditional gender roles.  It is hardly a stretch to say that people who earn their living on the water are some of the most colorful and interesting people you will ever meet.  It doesn’t matter where  you are in the world, this adage holds true and Florida is no exception to this rule.

The passion that “water people” exhibit for their professions is often a trademark characteristic.  When asked, many who work on or in the water will tell you that it is a privilege.

Maritime professions can often be characterized with unpredictable working conditions, dangerous, sometimes uncomfortable environments, variable earning potential and a great deal of risk but those who are in it often remain not because of the promise of a big paycheck but because they believe that they have the best “office” in the world…the sea. It is an obsession of sorts.  A disease and those of us who have it don’t want to be cured.

The Life Aquatic is an oral history program with three goals:

  1. To document those who earn their living on or in the waters surrounding Florida
  2. To raise awareness of the maritime trades and how intrinsic they are to our State’s economy and identity
  3. To encourage our children to explore careers in the maritime trades through first person narratives and interactive interviews

We are collecting information to launch the Life Aquatic oral history program through Florida Maritime and we want to hear from you.

Contact Carrie Caignet, Life Aquatic Project Manager at FM with your story.  She will address each inquiry on an individual basis insuring your story gets told in your words.