Selected tag(s): Deadliest Catch

Smart fishery management can make fishing safer

Front Cover PhotoAmerican fishermen are 23 times more likely than the average American worker to die on the job.

That’s a shockingly high number, and it might not surprise you if you’ve watched Deadliest Catch. Amazingly, it’s better than it used to be, and a policy that EDF has championed for a decade has played a significant role.

The on-the-job death rate comes from the Department of Labor’s annual review of workplace fatalities. Each year, the DOL analyzes all on-the-job fatalities (in actual deaths and deaths per 100,000 jobs), and for years, fishermen have held the first or second highest fatality rate. What this year’s numbers don’t show, however, is how some fisheries are making the industry a lot less deadly.

Fishermen face risks from treacherous weather conditions and heavy equipment. In some fisheries, however, the rules that govern when and where they fish actually encourage risky decisions. When fishermen are subjected to rules that limit when they can fish, they find themselves in a race against the clock, the competition, and the weather. Read More »

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‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Says Catch Share Management Brought Major Benefits


The F/V Seabrooke. Photo credit: Discovery Channel

Scott Campbell Jr, a captain on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch,” one of cable’s most popular shows, told CNNMONEY that catch shares have brought significant safety, environmental and financial benefits for crab fishermen in Alaska’s Bering Sea.

While crabbing in the Bering Sea is inherently dangerous, catch shares have made it less deadly.  Before crabbers were racing in an intense derby as short as two days, and 8 crabbers perished during the last five years of traditional management compared to one since the switch to catch shares in 2005.

According to CNNMONEY, Campbell explained that prices have improved. In addition, with longer seasons, crab pots can “soak” in the water longer, which gives the small crabs more time to escape, as intended.   For those that don’t escape, fishermen have more time to sort through crabs they catch and carefully return the small ones you’re not allowed to catch back to the water unharmed.

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