Undoubtably the most important "industry" in Wa-Daisho is aquaculture. Aquaculture encompasses a number of different fields, from harvesting of naturally growing edible seaweed varieties, to creation of/maintenance of fish farms, and then of course commercial fishing. Fishing itself, however, provides the lion share of the food people in the Republic need and the vast majority of the trade value for use with other nations. Furthermore it also provides approximately 12% of the population with work. (This figure includes those who work for the Shipyards, those who manufacture nets, those who take part in packaging, distribution, etc.) Most of the net result of this is controlled by one man, James Akersley who personally employs 4.4% of the population of the Republic!
Since James owned the majority of the fishing fleet on the island, it was easy to see how he quickly became the defacto ruler of a corporate empire in the pivotal fishing industry! As time goes on, Akersley fishing loses more and more of the monopoly on the fishing industry as various fishermen leave his service to start their own fishing companies. Most simply own one or two fishing vessels - but a couple of other corporations have started as well.
This section will elaborate on each of the few fishing companies to indicate the true "power" of the fishing industry in Wa-Daisho;
Akersley Fishing is by far the largest of the fishing companies in Wa-Daisho. The skill of these fishermen, many of which are hold overs from the original colony started here by exiles from Water Point Preserve, is considerable. Although the fishing fleet is not inordinately large, their skill and their well maintained modern equipment allows them to almost always bring in a big catch. There are twenty two fishing vessels in this fleet, twenty of which are relatively small multi-purpose rigs, and two are so called "motherships". All of Akersley's fishing vessels are relatively new, built within the last ten years.
The 108 & 110 Class Multi-Purpose Fishing Vessels are essentially the same, save for a change in some equipment and slightly different weapon arrangements. Each is about 40' in length, and has the same general layout. The 108 has a hull with 250 M.D.C. while the 110 has a hull of 220 M.D.C.. The 108 is a little bit slower than the 110, (12 knots vs 14 knots.) The 108 is armed with a pair of Wilks 447s in a dual mount pintle on the bow of the vessel, out of the way of fishing operations. The 110 is armed with a pair of Type 7 VSPLR in a similar mount, while a weapons locker contains two more of these in rifle form. Essentially they are the same class beyond this, however. Each vessel carries eight men, including two Defense Specialist Seamen, who take over control of the vessel any time danger rears it's head during operations. The remaining six crewmen conduct all other fishing activities. The 108 & 110 Classes are all equipped with the capacity to operate as Purse Seiners, Beam Trawlers, Beam Dredgers, and as Long Liners. Akersley has five of the 108s and 15 of the 110s.
In the Purse Seiner function, the crew searches for slow moving or immobile schools of fish in a relatively open location that is clear of debris. Once a school of fish is located, the vessels lowers the net into the water and then circles around the school. At which point ropes are drawn to close up the bottom of the net circle and then the entire net is brought up in one large haul. This method can be used to harvest fish as small as sardines and as large as the largest tuna up to 900' down.
In the Beam Trawler mode, the vessel lowers booms, called beams - obviously - from the sides of the vessel. These remain suspended above water, but from them the vessel tows a cup shaped net called a Trawl, from each beam. This net very nearly drags the bottom. It's purpose and function is to harvest shrimp and various flatfishes that reside on the bottom.
In the Beam Dredger mode a specially designed net is lowered down very nearly to the bottom and is towed behind at a slow speed. This net has a beam attached to it that has water jets built into it that agitates the bottom and blasts molluscs clear from the bottom silt, which are then caught in the net trailing behind the beam with the water jets. This method is known to jettison loose all sorts of various artifacts from the bottom of the deep.
The final mode of fishing these vessels conduct is known as Long Lining. This is effectively when the crew gets together at the aft of the vessel and baits, and releases miles of strong fishing line, with hooks every few meters, attached to bouys. These are then left to sit for a six to twelve hour period before they are harvested. Akersley seldom uses lines more than a half mile in length due to the frequency of sea serpents dragging them miles out to sea.
When Akersley's fishing flotilla is at sea, typically they like to remain at sea as long as possible without having to return to shore for weeks or even months at a time. Akersley thus created the 113 Class of Mothership to facilitate and enhance that capability. These vessels operate as canneries at sea, stewing and canning fish such as tuna or salmon, right at sea - distributing them once on shore. They also operate as gigantic floating freezers as well, that store fish for days or weeks at a time before bringing them into port to be packaged and sold. Finally they also operate as floating repair centers and storehouses for spare nets, food, and necessary equipment to continue fishing operations. When supplies are low, or the store houses are getting full - the mothership leaves and docks for a fast unloading and resupply of equipment while the fishing fleet remains at sea. Each of these vessels are about 90' in length, and house 50 men each for the various jobs on board. Much of it is automated - which allows for increased space for cargo stowage. Each vessel has a single swiveling 40 mm cannon on the foredeck for defensive purposes, plus a pair of Type 7 VSPLR on pintle mounts at either side of the stern. These large, state of the art vessels, have 475 M.D.C. to the main body.
In addition to these vessels, a flotilla of small boats maintain and monitor crab cages along the southern coast of the island. Akersley also maintains a personal flotilla of defensive vessels. In 115PA Akersley purchased a half dozen S-Mart Katana Gun Boats to defend the fishing operations. These vessels are manned entirely by former Red Devils and the occasional Tenzan Elite mercenaries. The WDS Prosperity, an Iron Heart Armaments Triton Class Patrol Boat, was sold to Akersley in May of 117PA after it's retirement from the Republic's Navy. After a refitting delay, she began escort duties in December. In January of 118PA Akersley purchased a pair of Republican Industries Type 16 Utility Aircraft, which he uses as VIP transports, messengers, and ambulance aircraft. They can also function as reconnaisance aircraft to screen for dangerous animals or vessels. Beyond these defensive measures NONE of Akersley's fishing vessels are unarmed and defenseless. Finally, Akersley can also count upon the Red Devil Navy and Allied Naval Fleet to LEAP to his defense if his fishing fleet ever came under serious threat of attack.
In terms of products, Akersley carries his own line of fish, and fishing related products. His motherships conduct canning operations while at sea - and then they are labeled when on shore. Packaging is conducted on shore as well as on the motherships. Akersley also runs it's own shipyard capable of repairing, maintaining, and even building all new fishing vessels in a few weeks time.
Total Employees: 3,435 + 120 Mercenaries; Approximately 4.4% of the population.
Percent Supplied Towards Republic's Demand: 53% of seafood consumed in Wa-Daisho is supplied by Akersley.
Percent Supplied for Trade Value: 69% of seafood exported from Wa-Daisho is supplied by Akersley.
Fish/Molluscs Harvested: Salmon, sea cucumbers, steelhead trout, octopus, herring, squid, rockfish, scallops, groundfish, abalone, dogfish, halibut, clams, black cod, oysters, tuna, shrimp/prawns, hake, smelt, mussels, pile, shiner, serf perch, anchovies, mackerel, crab, tanner crab, urchins, and sardines.
Torvell Fishing was begun back in 109PA when Otte Torvell, a former employee of Akersley Corp, began purchasing the fishing boats that Akersley was phasing out of service. Still even with the first vessels in his hands, it took him nearly all of 109PA just to get it refitted and equipped for fishing operations! As where Akersley Fishing Corp is considered the market leader, and elite in the industry, Torvell falls somewhere in the ranks of third or fourth on those lists. Many of Torvell's best men are former Akersley Corp employees, while some are simply land lubbers who've decided to try to earn some of the major cash available in the dangerous business of commercial fishing. This means that some years, one boat's crew may be excellent, while other years it's a shambles - one rung up from a comedic act where everything that can go wrong WILL go wrong. As of February 118PA, Otte owns 5 of Akersley's OLD commercial fishing vessels, that hold their origins sometime in the 50s - at Water Point Preserve! Of these two are lift netters, two are Trollers, and one is a beam dredger. (For each, treat them as SDC vessels that have been armored to some degree with 140 M.D.C. hulls, and 75 M.D.C. cabins, but with S.D.C. windows.) Otte also owns ONE of the newer Akersley Shipyards 110 Class Multi-Purpose Fishing Boats, that serves as his so called "flagship".
Based out of South Bay, Torvell owns a very small office right on the bay, that also serves as a smokehouse and packaging facility. It is always a very smelly place, with a leaky roof, and a poorly painted exterior. Torvell's fishing fleet is also based in South Bay. Fish and shellfish to be canned for export are sold to Smithe Corp and are packaged under their label.
In terms of production, Torvell provides approximately 3,960 tonnes of fish and molluscs annually. This accounts for roughly 10% of the commercial fishing conducted in the Republic.
North Port Fishing Corporation is a transplanted business from Lazlo, that came across during the brief treaty period between the Allied Nations and Free Quebec in 115-116PA. All four fishing vessels involved in these operations are Lazlo builds - perhaps the only Lazlo Shipyards vessels that regularly make port in Wa-Daisho.
The four vessels operated by North Port, are larger fishing vessels than those typically seen in Wa-Daisho's waters. They are 100 footers, larger even than Akersley's own 113 Class Motherships and are designed to operate as Lift Netters and Long Liners. Treat these vessels as purpose built mega-damage fishing vessels at 450 M.D.C. each for the hulls, 150 M.D.C. for the cabin. Each is armed with a pair of pintle mounted NG-202 rail guns - one at the bow and another at the stern. Each weapon is outfitted with enough rounds for 50 bursts. Each also has the TW modifications of Energy Field, Light Target (Attracts large numbers of fish!), and Chameleon.
Given these vessel's large size and magical capabilities, North Port Fishing Corp, often ventures a bit further out to sea than Akersley would normally attempt to. While this would sound quite foolhardy in most instances, in many cases, it actually gives North Port the edge on Akersley in terms of EASY catches. Northport often hits bays and coves that have otherwise remained untouched since the cataclysm. This allows these mammoth vessels to often bring in a huge catch of fish in a relatively short span of time.
North Port Fishing Corporation has the distinction of being the ONLY large fishing corporation that is established in Avery. In terms of production, North Port Fishing Corporation does quite well. Many of the skills learned fishing in the Great Lakes have served NPFC well in fishing the Great Pacific. As such They provide approximately 5,220 tonnes of fish and squid annually. This accounts for roughly 14% of the commercial fishing conducted in the Republic. Fresh fish and Frozen fish wrapped in plastic wrap are sold labeled only with the type of fish, weight and cost in Avery for little more than the cost of operations with a VERY slight profit margin. (NPFC pays NO fees for dock space or city taxes for their offices.) The remainder is sent to Smithe Corp for canning or packaging for distribution or export.
There are numerous individuals who own one or two boats who also go out fishing for profits. These are no where near as well funded or organized as those mentioned above. A few may have contracts with Smithe Corp, and sell their wares to them for processing and distribution, but most will sell their wares in the open market or in small towns, as brine packed, smoked, or dried fish. These "Other" Fishing entities account for 25.4% of the fish, molluscs, and shellfish gathered in Wa-Daisho's waters for the commercial industry in the Republic. They also account for 7.1% of seafood that is exported. Note that these numbers do NOT include the 3,696 tonnes of fish, molluscs, and shellfish gathered in Wa-Daisho's waters for consumption by the consumers themselves - which accounts for nearly 24% of these products consumed in Wa-Daisho.Fish Harvested NOT Covered by the Major Corporations: Crayfish, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Brown Trout, and Smallmouth Bass.
Akersley Corporation's small boat flotilla that keeps track of the crab traps also collects edible varieties of seaweeds such as Laver, Kelp, and collects species of seaweeds that are useful for distilling for their iodine content - an essential mineral necessary to most animal life, one which is difficult to find in the central states or in the high mountains of Utah, Colorado, etc. Akersley Corporation is the only large corporation that has been harvesting seaweed in any quantity. Akersley does NOT process seaweed, however, he sells it to Smithe Corp for processing.