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COMMERCIAL FISHING ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS JOBS FOR U.S. WORKERS, NORTHWEST DUNGENESS MOST DANGEROUS FISHERY ON PACIFIC COAST

A study by the Center for Disease Control reaffirmed commercial fishing's status as one of the most dangerous occupations for U.S. workers. The study found that from 2000 to 2006, the rate of death for commercial fishermen was 115 deaths for every 100,000 fisherman. This is a strikingly higher rate than the national average for all U.S. workers, which is 4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Noting that commercial fishing fatalities in Alaska declined after safety interventions in the 1990s, the study analyzed commercial fishing fatalities in California, Oregon, and Washington to see if similar measures should be taken in those states.

In the 6-year period, 58 commercial fishing fatalities were reported in the three states. Of these, most occurred when vessels were lost, and a few were caused by falling overboard without a life vest. Common contributing factors included weather, vessel instability, and lack of immersion suits. The fatality rate for fishermen on the Pacific Coast was roughly double the national average for commercial fishermen, and slightly more than double than the fatality rate for commercial fishermen working in Alaska.

17 fatalities over six years were reported from the Northwest Dungeness crab fleet, making it the most dangerous fishery on the Pacific Coast. The CDC recommended that prevention measures tailored specifically to the Northwest Dungeness crab fishery be considered.

This report confirms what we at Stacey Trueb & Jacobson already know; commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. However, it points out that for some reason, it seems to be even more dangerous on the Pacific Coast. Factors like ship instability and improper training, which can contribute to deadly accidents, are the employer's responsibility to eliminate. If you have been injured while working at sea, find out about your rights under maritime law and the Jones Act by visiting our website. Call the maritime lawyers at Stacey Trueb & Jacobson to discuss your case. We are maritime law specialists and will make sure you receive the fullest compensation under the law.

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