20,000 Jobs Under the Sea:

A History of Commercial and Fishery Diving in Southern California: An ongoing exhibit

Book jacket cover art from “20,000 Jobs Under the Sea” by Torrance Parker

The underwater world has fascinated people for centuries. Most people associate the word “diving” with recreational activities such as scuba or snorkeling. But diving is a profession as well. The work of underwater construction, inspection, salvage, and repair all require special skills and equipment. The people who perform these jobs are known as “commercial divers”.

Professional divers who harvest sea life such as abalone, urchins, or sponge are called “fishery divers” Their skills and equipment are specific to the requirements of underwater fishing, and for that reason a fishery diver is not the same as a commercial diver.

This exhibit is an introduction to just a few of the thousands of jobs performed by commercial divers and fishery divers in the South Bay, and is the inspiration of Torrance R. Parker, noted commercial diver and author of 20,000 Jobs Under the Sea.

Diving Locker
The Japanese Abalone Fishermen
Building Beneath Los Angeles Harbor