Captain Mike Hamer is no stranger to Ocean Choice’s offshore fishing vessels. He has held the Captain’s position on the Katsheshuk II – one of our groundfish vessels – for the past 15 years. As Mike enters his 16th year with Ocean Choice, he is embarking on a new adventure. He is taking the helm of the company’s new state-of-the-art groundfish vessel, the MV Calvert.
The MV Calvert named after the coastal fishing community of Calvert on the southern shore of Newfoundland and Labrador – where Martin and Blaine Sullivan, the two owners of Ocean Choice are from – is the first new build for the company. It is also the first groundfish vessel to be added to the Canadian offshore fishing sector since the 1980’s.
Mike is looking forward to taking on his new role as Captain on the Calvert, “it is not every day you get to take on a new state-of-the-art vessel,” says Mike. “From sailing the vessel on its inaugural journey from Turkey to St. John’s harbor; to getting the vessel and crew out fishing for the first time, being part of the team responsible for the new vessel is one of the highlights of my time at sea.”
Mike’s love for the ocean started over 45 years ago, when at the age of 17 he took a position with the Canadian Coast Guard. It was inevitable that Mike found his way to the ocean; his family roots are steeped in the fishery. Both of Mike’s grandfathers were small boat fisherman, something that Mike speaks about with great pride.
There is a lot of new technology on the vessel making it more environmentally friendly. Technology that will lower the vessels carbon footprint, increase at sea processing efficiency and reduce bottom impact. The Calvert will be one of the most modern state-of-the-art groundfish vessels in the Canadian fleet – something Mike is extremely excited about.
For Mike each and every crew member plays a pivotal role in ensuring the vessel is fishing and operating safely and effectively. The respect Mike feels for his fellow crew members is something to be admired. “The crew is an extension of my family,” says Mike. “Working at sea, you become extremely close to those you work alongside of. My main focus each and every trip is to ensure that at the end of the day every single person gets to go home and hug their loved ones.”
Mike’s lifestyle as a captain at sea with a trip-on, trip-off rotation allows him to spend much loved quality time with his family while doing something he truly loves – catching some of the world’s highest quality seafood off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.