FishAbility brochure cover: FishAbility, Fishing for a Lifetime; part of Maine AgrAbility. FishAbility supports fishermen and women who experience barriers to employment such as aging, injury or chronic illness.
Download the FishAbility Brochure (PDF).

FishAbility supports fishermen, lobstermen, oyster farmers, people working in aquaculture, and family members of fishing businesses who experience barriers to employment such as aging, injury, or chronic illness.

What is Maine FishAbility?

FishAbility’s mission as part of the Maine AgrAbility Program is to work with fishermen whose productivity has been impacted by chronic illness or injury. We offer resources, information, and practical solutions to help fishermen work safely and productively.

Practical Ideas and Suggestions for Fishermen

While working in the fishing industry, there are common tasks, that may be repetitive and strenuous, and may lead to aches and pain at the end of the day or season. On the Maine AgrAbility Blog page we will be sharing images of these work tasks and positions, and offering suggestions for strength and conditioning will be shared, specifically for fishermen to encourage better health to minimize injury and pain, and avoid reduced productivity. These exercises and stretches are intended to be done using gear that is readily available on the boat or dooryard and performed easily while in the wheelhouse or on the deck. The collection of stretches will be featured in a downloadable poster coming soon.


  • My Other Boat is a Truck
    Be kind to your spine and be sure to unwind after a day in reverse.
  • Unhook Your Crook
    Take two minutes after you put the boat on the hook to do a couple of side bends that can help release some of the tension from the day.
  • Try This to Unwind
    Relieve pain in your neck, shoulders, and back with this easy post-fishing stretch.
  • Watch Your Mooves: The Cow Pose
    Whether you’re a lobsterman, groundfish fisherman, or oyster farmer – tugging and pulling on traps, nets, and cages is a big part of your day.
  • This is Awkward: The Cat Pose
    Fishermen and aquaculture harvesters spend a lot of time bending, pulling, tugging, and straining, and those movements should be balanced with opportunities for recovery. Taking even just a few minutes to focus on your breathing or stretch your back can help alleviate discomfort and even fend off injury.
  • Bending At the Waist: The Warrior Pose
    Whether you’re pulling lobster traps or oysters cages, or hunched over shucking scallops, your low back probably takes a beating. Fishermen have an intuitive understanding of ergonomics but perhaps don’t stretch and strengthen specific muscles as often as they should in order to prevent and alleviate low back pain.
  • Bending and Mending: The Downward Dogfish
    Whether you are building a trap, mending a net, or heaving an oyster cage, you may find yourself hunched over or in an awkward position in order to complete a task. It’s important to be mindful of how you are working, but it’s also good to consider taking time to stretch and readjust to protect your body.
  • Dynamic Stretching: Let’s Do the Twist
    Getting ready for a day on the boat? Movements that stretch the body can help you get on the boat tomorrow, too.