Suggested Bibliographic Reference: Challenging New Frontiers in the Global Seafood Sector: Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 11-15, 2016. Compiled by Stefani J. Evers and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2016.
Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, held July 11-15, 2016 at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center (AECC), Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
Background: Commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous industries in the US. The occupational fatality rate in 2014 was 80.8/100,000 full-time equivalent workers, nearly 25 times higher than the national average for all workers. The purpose of this study was to identify causes and contributing factors of fatalities to inform the industry, US Coast Guard and Fishery Management Councils.
Methods: We developed the Commercial Fishing Incident Database (CFID) to collect data describing all fatal injuries in the U.S. fishing industry. Counts and proportions were calculated to explore incident and fishermen characteristics for events that occurred during 2000-2014.
Results: During 2000-2014, there were 694 commercial fishing deaths in the U.S. Most occurred after a vessel disaster (344, 50%) or a fall overboard (210, 30. By region, 225 (32%) occurred off the East Coast, 178 (26%) near Alaska, 163 (23%) in the Gulf of Mexico, and 116 (17%) off the West Coast. Fatalities occurred most frequently in the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery (80), Alaska salmon fishery (58), and East Coast scallop fishery (50).
Conclusions: Regional/Fishery-specific data are necessary for smart policy decisions. Vessel disasters and falls overboard lead to the most fatalities nationally-however, each region has specific hazards that may be more important than others. There remains a need for the regional development and implementation of safety interventions. In 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service released a Technical Document explaining how Councils should incorporate data such as these data from CFID into their decision making processes.