Jayden Kramer

Jayden Kramer

Jayden Kramer is living his dream. Six weeks after he completed his New Zealand Certificate in Fishing Vessel Crewing he landed a job as a deep-sea deckhand on the Antarctic Discovery, but he isn’t stopping there. He is now studying a Maritime Operations course and has hopes of rising the ranks.    

Jayden travels to Antarctica three times a year and is there for three months each time. 

He says the best part of the job is being able to earn a good wage and experiencing nature in a way that people would only dream of.

“I’m so lucky. I get to see wildlife like seals, whales, and icebergs. I get paid to go to Antarctica, that’s pretty awesome.”

The Antarctic Discovery is a fishing vessel that aims to catch toothfish. The Antarctic toothfish is a large, black or brown fish found in very cold waters of the Southern Ocean near Antarctica. Jayden has landed himself one weighing in at 53kg. 

He says a typical day aboard the ship involves a 12-hour shift which is 12am-12pm or 12pm-12am. 

“The work is physically full on but once you clock off you get to enjoy that time off completely.”

He also really enjoys the physical aspect of the role and working hands-on. 

Deep sea fishermen generally get a base salary and a commission based on what they catch on the trip. It can be very lucrative even if you are just starting out.

Jayden says being away for three months at a time is the hardest part of the job. He misses things like Christmas and birthdays, but they have wifi on board so he can continue to keep in contact with friends and family and he tries to spend all his time with them when he returns.

“The ice is like a moving maze, and the ship has to drive through it. One minute you can be driving through fine and the next come across an iceberg that can be 60 metres high and hundreds of metres long. It’s pretty incredible to be around.” 

Jayden is currently completing his skipper restricted course through Toi Ohomai and his main aim is to continue to progress to drive bigger boats and move his way up the ladder.