Commercial Fishing Deaths Grow, as Government Slow to Regulate
There is no deadlier occupation in the U.S. than commercial fishing, an industry that has avoided government regulation for the most part.
Last decade, 545 Americans died on commercial fishing boats, which have a death rate that’s 31 times greater than the death rate for all American workers. More than 50% of these fatalities occurred after a vessel disaster, while another 30% involved crew members falling overboard.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked commercial fishing as the most dangerous job in the country from 2007 to 2010. According to records kept by the Centers for Disease Control, the greatest number of fatalities occurred among Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishers, followed by Atlantic scallop fishers and Alaska salmon fishers.
Despite so many on-the-job deaths, the federal government does not require inspections of commercial fishing boats. The U.S. Coast Guard can examine safety equipment at dockside, but that’s the extent of any federal oversight.
“This has been an industry where there just hasn’t been a vigorous pursuit of safety at the federal level,” former congressman James Oberstar (D-Minnesota), who held fishing safety hearings in 2007 as chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, told The Center for Public Integrity.
To Learn More:
Fishing Deaths Mount, But Government Slow To Cast Safety Net for Deadliest Industry (by Ronnie Greene, Center for Public Integrity)
Commercial Fishing Safety (Centers for Disease Control)
13 Workers a Day Die on the Job…Not Including Work-Related Diseases (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Former Employees Say Bank of America Regularly Lied to Homeowners Seeking Loan Modifications
- 2 Fatal Chemical Plant Explosions in 2 Days in Louisiana
- Growth of Factory Farming Leading to Uncontrolled Problems of Animal Waste
- Federal Government Accused of Adding an Average of One New Crime a Week
- Christian Pastor Given Go-Ahead to Sue Oklahoma over Native American License Plate Design