Bristol Bay, Alaska (KINY) Commercial fishing had a fatality rate 23 times higher than other occupations.
Fish radio reported the Salmon drift gill net fishery is the most dangerous, according to the national report. The sinking of vessels account for half of the fatalities. Another top cause is going overboard.
The study found that 204 fishermen died in the United States between 2000 and 2016. Nearly 60 percent of the falls did were not witnessed. Almost 90 percent of the victims were never found. In every death, it is believed that none of the fishermen wore a personal flotation device.
The study was called Fatal Falls Overboard in Commercial Fishing. It was conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Sunken vessels account for half of all fishing fatalities; second is falling overboard — deaths that are largely preventable.
Advances in technology have made life jackets easier to wear and more popular for anglers. Still the study estimates that less than 10-percent of commercial fishermen wear them while working.
Alaska ranked third with 51 deaths overall. Things have improved safety wise in recent years. In Alaska there were 10 fishing deaths in 2017 but six of those occurred in the sinking of a crab boat, Destination, in the Bering Sea. In the 1970s the state averaged 39 fishing deaths per year.