Commercial fishing safety under review

Nov. 8, 2011 at 3:32 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- New safety recommendations for tougher standards for commercial fishing vessels and crew training have been issued, U.S. officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued the safety recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard Tuesday, an NTSB release said.

"The commercial fishing industry continues to have the highest fatality rate of all occupations in the United States; the safety hazards of this industry are unacceptable," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in a statement.

"While numerous laws have been passed to protect fishing grounds and fish populations, regulations to improve the safety of commercial fisherman are long overdue."

In the United States, deaths averaged 158 per 100,000 commercial fishing industry workers from 1992 to 2008, compared with an average of 4 fatalities per 100,000 workers in all occupations nationwide, the NTSB said.

In an NTSB forum on fishing vessel safety held, in Washington, experts from the U.S. Coast Guard and industry identified numerous safety issues including lifesaving equipment, replacing older vessels, and crew training.

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