Fishing in the time of Coronavirus

Morgan Maassen explores how Covid-19 has affected his father Jeff’s work diving for sea urchin

When Vimeo began its excellent series, Stories in Place, in which they asked staff-picked filmmakers to chronicle businesses as they dealt with ramifications of Covid-19, it’s natural they would approach Morgan Maassen, who must have some kind of record for Staff Picks on Vimeo and is one of the first filmmakers we we think of when we think of people who put some beauty into the world no matter the subject. Some of his videos are aesthetic meditations, others are profiles and explorations. Here, he chose to interview his father, Jeff, and show with his typical depth, the work his father has done for the past 40 years while they discuss how the world is changing before our eyes.  

Every fisherman is his own business.

This is an examination of my father, Jeff Maassen, a fisherman whose four decades of diving for sea urchin has come to a grinding halt along with the rest of the world’s economy. Global supply chains are frozen and Santa Barbara’s harbor teeters on the edge of being shut down, which has sent all fishermen scrambling to make ends meet and continue providing for themselves, their families and the community.–Morgan