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Commercial fishing has consistently ranked among the most dangerous industries in the nation, and this is a fact that still holds true to this day. CNBC released a survey at the end of 2019 ranking the ten deadliest careers in the world, and commercial fishing found itself right at the top again, taking number two. You may be wondering- what exactly makes commercial fishing so dangerous? Read on to learn more about the dangers of commercial fishing and some statistics on the industry. Irwin Law Firm is a law firm servicing the Miami area specializing in admiral law. Attorney David E. Irwin, Esq. has been working in the local marine industry for over twenty years practicing litigation in commercial and personal injury cases, with additional expertise as a transactional attorney drafting contracts and agreements. If you’re looking for cruise ship lawyers, call Irwin Law Firm at our Fort Lauderdale headquarters today!


Admiral Law Experts Discuss Commercial Fishing Dangers


The CNBC survey we mentioned above gave a summary of the dangers that fishermen face everyday, but it’s somewhat generic and does not touch on many of the specific situations fishermen can find themselves in. The survey does note that fishing can result in accidents that “involve boat accidents or falls from boats,” and then goes on to note that the days are long, and the work is very arduous. An article in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reviewed over a decade’s worth of data and found these facts about U.S. commercial fishermen:

  • Vessel disasters were the number one cause of fatalities at 43%, and this includes ships that capsized or that suffered enough damage the crew were forced to flee
  • U.S. fishermen suffered an average of 38 work-related deaths every year
  • Half of all fatalities were deckhands
  • At 30%, falls overboard were the second leading cause of fatalities 
  • The largest share of vessel disasters were due to severe weather. The next most vessel disasters were a result of instability from overloading
  • The majority of falls overboard were due to working alone and consumption of alcohol or drugs
  • Fishermen along the West Coast (16%) are half as likely to suffer fatalities as those who work along the East Coast (32%)


Cruise Ship Lawyers On Dangers Of Commercial Fishing


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed these statistics and came to a couple key conclusions:

  • Crew needs to make sure that they always have access to appropriate safety vests and other safety gear, and know how to make proper use of them
  • Ship owners have to pay more attention to the stability and integrity of their vessels.


At the end of the day, ship employees are only able to exercise control over what is in their power to do so. Crew members can wear their safety vest and follow listed safety protocols while on deck. However, that won’t stop the ship from sinking if the hull has rotted away. When the injuries of a crew member are due to the unseaworthiness of a vessel or to the negligence of an employer, then they may have cause to file a claim.


Contact Us Today


Commercial fishing is a dangerous enterprise that can cause many accidents and fatalities. If you believe your maritime accident was due to your employer, you should seek an admiral law firm for legal guidance. If you are looking for crew ship lawyers in Miami, call Irwin Law Firm at our Fort Lauderdale office today!