Commercial Fishing Job Risks: Stats and a Story

The following are some statistics that were included in a USA Today article about the job risks that face commercial fishermen:

  • About 152 of every 100,000 fishermen are killed on the job, according to the latest statistics of the U.S. Labor Department. That’s the highest fatality rate of any occupation, including the rate of loggers, miners, firefighters and police officers.
  • According to a USA Today analysis, an average of one fisherman has died each week in the last four years.
  • Most fishermen killed on the job drown or succumb to hypothermia in the water after a boat sinks or capsizes, or after they fall overboard.
  • Falls overboard may result from a wave, a misstep, a slippery boat deck, or entanglement in fishing equipment.
  • Alaska’s waters are the most deadly, followed by the Gulf of Mexico and waters outside the Northeast.
  • Gloucester, Mass., has lost more than 1,100 fishermen since 1900.

A USA Today analysis of Coast Guard statistics revealed that from 1996 to December 2002, 460 fishermen were killed.

I knew one of those 460 fishermen.

Because I think you would’ve liked to have known him too, I’ve written a short story about him just for this Blog.

I wrote the story as well to honor the anniversary of a date, February 17.

Sadly, it’s not the kind of anniversary one celebrates with flowers and dinner at a restaurant down at the harbor. It’s the kind one observes with flowers and a visit to the Fishermen’s Memorial Anchor down at the harbor.

You may read the story by clicking on the new page, “‘I Read It, Brother’ — Tribute to a Fisherman Lost at Sea,”  here at Highliners and Homecomings.


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