I read an extremely interesting AP article tonight on seattlepi.com regarding the latest statistics on the dangers and fatalities of commercial fishing; specifically, commercial fishing on the West Coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) and Alaska. The full article can be accessed by clicking on the above link.
In a nutshell, the new report from the federal government states that West Coast fishing has one of the highest death rates in commercial fishing, higher even than in Alaska.
The report states that although Alaska’s Bering Sea crab fishery has been described as the most dangerous fishery, the Northwest Dungeness crab fleet had a greater number of fatalities and a higher fatality rate during 2000-2006.
Very interesting article, especially if you have ties to both Alaska and West Coast fisheries (including NW Dungeness crab), which we and so many others do.
In my prowl of the Internet this evening, I also stumbled upon a blog that features some interesting photos from the commercial fishing section of Squalicum Harbor.
The first photo shows the town’s original fisherman’s memorial, the Anchor Memorial, that bears the names of several Whatcom County lost at sea fishermen (including that of my brother-in-law, Danny, who was lost in 1997 while fishing for Snow crab in Alaska). There is a new fisherman’s memorial at the harbor now, but the statue looks more like a recreational than a commercial fisherman. Anyway, the fifth picture down shows commercial boats tied up in the harbor, including our very own F/V Vis.
(If you are looking for additional statistics on commercial fishing fatalities, please see the post Commercial Fishing Job Risks: Stats and a Story, from February 17, 2008 in the Highliners and Homecomings archives)