Commercial fishing is vital to many peoples’ livelihoods; the industry supplies countless people with jobs, both directly and indirectly. Fishing is an incredibly vital and important part of the maritime economy; there is always high demand for fish and always plenty of workers within the industry itself. However, commercial fishing poses serious dangers to its employees, and it is vital that workers be aware of the risks they face in this line of work.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that the ten year period 2000-2010 saw an average of forty-six deaths per year in commercial fishing. That’s around 124 deaths per 100,000 people, which is significantly higher than the 4 deaths per 100,000 one finds in the rest of the working population. Over thirty percent of these deaths occur after a fisherman falls overboard a ship; over fifty percent happen in the event of a “vessel” disaster, and the other deaths are the result of “onboard injuries” and on-shore accidents.
The scallop industry, during this time, had the highest instance of fatal accidents. Many types of “initiating events,” or events that lead to a fatal accident, were waves, fires, collisions and wind gusts.
Types commercial fishing accidents include:
- malfunctioning fishing gear,
- entanglement in fishing nets and gear,
- slippery decks,
- large waves washing over decks,
- malfunctioning navigation equipment causing collisions.
Injured in a Commercial Fishing Accident?
If you’re a commercial fisherman and you have suffered injuries in an accident, you may want to contact an experienced maritime attorney to discuss your legal rights. An experienced maritime lawyer can help you get the results, the settlement and the financial compensation you deserve for your long term care.
After law school, Richard Serpe gained an advanced degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.
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