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The Dangers Of The Commercial Fishing Industry

Anyone who has watched shows like "Deadliest Catch" and "Swords: Life on the Line" understands on some level that commercial fishing can be extremely dangerous. In fact, commercial fishing is actually one of the most dangerous professions in the nation. According to the Coast Guard, 1,903 commercial fishing boats sank between 1992 and 2007, which resulted in 507 fatalities.

Despite the perception that many accidents in the commercial fishing industry are caused by the violence of nature, many of these fatal accidents were preventable and oftentimes resulted from poor decision making, pitfalls in equipment maintenance and inadequate employee training, among other preventable causes.

Fatal accidents in the commercial fishing industry are also attributed to a lack of government oversight and regulation. Although advocates for fishermen have tried to lobby for more stringent legislation, they have had little luck as of late.

However, one law that currently governs the industry, the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988, has been somewhat effective-although advocates say the law doesn't go far enough in protecting the lives of workers. Under the law, ships must carry life-saving equipment such as life rafts, fire extinguishers and signal flares. After the law was implemented, the death rate of shipwrecked fisherman was reduced by around fifty percent.

When an Accident Occurs

Although more can be done to protect commercial fishermen from accidents, the law does allow injured victims to hold companies responsible if they do not keep up with the industry's safety standards. Some behaviors that a company may be found liable for include failure to maintain equipment and machinery, should that failure result in worker injury.

If you work in the commercial fishing industry and have been injured on the job, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. With the help of a knowledgeable maritime attorney, you can file a lawsuit against your employer and potentially secure compensation to help you pay your medical bills. Also, if a loved one has been killed in a commercial fishing accident, you may be able to sue for wrongful death.