500+ Fishermen Died While Working 2000-09

ATLANTA, July 15 (UPI) — As fans of the reality show “Deadliest Catch” know, commercial fishing can be deadly, with more than 500 fishermen dying from 2000-2009, U.S. officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday says from 2000-2009, 504 commercial fishermen were killed in the United States.

The report says 261 of them died following a vessel disaster, 155 occurred when a person fell overboard and 51 resulted from an injury that occurred on board.

The risk of commercial fishing varies geographically across the United States due to the type of fishing and weather risk.

“Safety improvements in the commercial fishing industry have occurred as a result of safety regulations, marine safety training and fishery-specific interventions focusing on unique hazards,” the report says.

“However, further safety interventions should be developed for specific hazards with an emphasis on the prevention of vessel disasters among high-risk fisheries such as the Northeast multi-species groundfish fishery, the Northeast scallop fleet and the West Coast Dungeness crab fleet.”

To reduce fatalities among commercial fishermen, more efforts are needed to prevent falls overboard and increasing personal flotation device usage — or changing their design so they are comfortable and do not get in the way of working.

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