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The Truth About Commercial Fishing

Commercial fishing is one of the deadliest occupations in the United States, with a fatality rate twenty-eight times that of the typical American workermost professions. In order to make commercial fishing safer, and to understand the inherent dangers of the industry, it is important to understand why these fatalities are occurring.

According to the CDC, the most common reasons for commercial fishing fatalities are:

  • Lost Vessels. More than half of the fatalities reported among commercial fishermen were becausedue to boats that went missing and presumably sunksank, causing the deaths of all on board.
  • Falling Overboard. Approximately 29% percent of commercial fishing fatalities are caused by a fishermen falling overboard. The cold and often rough waters off the coasts of New York and New Jersey provide only a limited time for survival and rescue. Falls overboard are often caused by slip -and -fall accidents, mispoor communication among the crew, or a problems with the equipment on the boat.
  • Deck Injuries. The often wet and slippery conditions of the deck make it a dangerous place for commercial fishermen. For example, a seaman may slip, fall and hit his head in a way that causes a traumatic brain injury or death. About 8% percent of commercial fishing fatalities occur because ofare caused by deck injuries.
  • Diving. Diving in the cold, dark waters of the Northeast requires special equipment and skill. When the equipment malfunctions, or when the crew does not act with due care, serious injuries and fatalities can result. Diving accidents cause 5% percent of commercial fishing fatalities are caused by diving accidents.
  • Fires and Explosions. Commercial fishing boats require a lot of fuel, and they carry a lot of electrical equipment. When something goes wrong, fires can become fierce andgrow out of control. It can be difficult to get into a lifeboat in a safe amount of timequickly enough. Accordingly, about 5% percent of commercial fishing fatalities are caused by fires and explosions.


If you've lost a loved one in a commercial fishing accident, New Jersey and New York maritime lawyers may be able to help you. Call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY for a consultation today. 

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