Commercial fishing is a large and vital industry, but it is also a very dangerous one. Workers should be aware of the dangers they face in the industry, and how high the risk of death is.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the period 2000-2010 there were an average of 46 annual deaths for employees in commercial fishing operations. That works out to about 124 deaths per 100,000, a rate astronomically higher than the 4 deaths per 100,000 workers for the rest of country in general.
Over half of such disasters happened after a “vessel disaster,” and over a third occurred due to a fisherman’s falling overboard the ship. Ten percent resulted form on-board injuries, while seven percent occurred either while diving or while on-shore.
Accidents That Cause Injury And Death
Also according to the CDC, by far the fishing industry with the highest rate of fatalities was the scallop industry. The most frequent “initiating event” that caused a fatal disaster was flooding; other events included fires and explosions, large waves, collisions and wind gusts. Many vessel disasters cause not just one but multiple injuries in a single event. Many falls overboard (which account for a third of all fatalities) resulted from becoming entangled in fishing gear.
You Have Legal Rights
Commercial fishing is a vital industry that provides many jobs and is important to many parts of the country. However, even the most important industry should not come at the expense of workers’ safety. As an experienced Virginia maritime lawyer, I know that some companies, ship owners and employers can be unscrupulous when it comes to the health and safety of the employees under them. A worker injured through no fault of his or her own may want to speak with an experienced Maritime Lawyer about their legal options.
Do You Need a Commercial Fishing Maritime Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in an accident while working on a commercial fishing boat, or have lost a loved one, you may need a maritime lawyer. Attorney Richard Serpe has a Masters Degree (LLM) in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law, and has obtained the highest ranking (Proctor) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He has successfully prosecuted cases under the Jones Act, bringing fair and just compensation to workers who were injured while performing their duties.