FLORENCE, Ore. — Catching fish for a living is the deadliest job in the nation. A new study by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health confirms that more workers die in the commercial fishing industry than in any other job.
Fishermen in Florence said they aren’t surprised to hear that heading out on their boats and catching fish was a deadly job. They said though, deaths around here were rare and injuries are a little more common.
“Probably falling overboard or cutting your finger, you are always working with a knife out here,” said fisherman John Duman.
From 2000 to 2009, the most deaths in the commercial fishing industry occurred on the East Coast, with 165; Alaska had 133 deaths, the Gulf of Mexico 116 deaths and the West Coast 83 deaths. The fishing industry’s death rate is 31 times greater than the national workplace average.
“You don’t think about the risk because you’ve got a job to do and you’ve got to try and make some money. You can’t be thinking about the risks or it will make you fearful,” said fisherman Nick Wells.
The Coast Guard inspects fishermen’s boats, and they go through a number of safety precautions. Some fishermen still argue more regulation is needed.