Fishing Safety

Commercial Fishing Safety

Orange boat graphic

Commercial fishing is a vital industry that provides food for people in the U.S. and around the world. In Oregon and Washington, there are 10,364 commercial fishing vessels with $835,670 dollars in sales per year. Commercial fishing can be physically demanding, involving long hours, harsh weather, and changing work environments. All of these factors can create safety risks for fishermen. PNASH collaborates with Oregon State University to engage commercial fishermen to reduce the risk of injury and keep them fishing. Visit our Partners at OSU

Our collaboration began with a small study looking at nonfatal injuries among commercial fishing workers. This study provided information on nonfatal injuries reported to the US Coast Guard for commercial fishermen in Washington, Oregon and California from 2002-2014.

Our current project Risk Information System for Commercial Fishermen, uses US Coast Guard information with other public datasets to estimate injury risk and risk factors in commercial fishing in the Pacific Northwest. We developed a novel system to provide hazard assessments for commercial fishing stakeholders. This project has developed training resources and safety tools for fishermen's health and safety. See below to view the resources or learn more about research to improve safety in commercial fishing.


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Risk Information System for Commercial (RISC) Fishing

These resources use risk information on the hazards unique to the industry to provide commercial fishery stakeholders with guidance and tools.

Risk Information Infographic
Linking Data for Risk

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Understanding Risk Sheet
Understanding Risks for
Better Training

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Hazard worksheet
Hazard Sheet

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Commercial Fishermen’s First-Aid Kit

Every vessel must have a first aid kit and every fisherman should know what should go into a kit that will really help in situations they might find themselves in at sea. These resources were developed by the Fishermen Lead Injury Prevention Program (FLIPP) led by Oregon State University.

Commercial Fishing Crew Agreements

Commercial fishermen think a good crew agreement can help reduce the risk of injuries and establish a positive relationship among the crew. Understand what goes into a good crew agreement and use the template (either paper version or an online version) to help you get this in place with your crews. These resources were developed by the Fishermen Lead Injury Prevention Program (FLIPP) led by Oregon State University.

Regional and National Resources




WA sea grant


Sea Grant

Sea Grant


Sea Grant





In the News

Fishermen’s News, June 2018 Wilderness Medicine for the Commercial Fishing Industry

Fishermen’s News, July 2018 Who Do You Want By Your Side at Sea?

PNASH Resources for Fishing

Photo of the cover of the report

Report: PFDs for Crab Fishing

This is a report evaluating safety initiatives and safety training programs that informs attitudes around PFD.

Photo of items in the kit

FLIPP First Aid Kit List

This is a list of items that is needed in a comprehensive first aid kit, recommended by safety professionals.

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FLIPP Guide to Building a First Aid Kit

This guide helps create first aid kit that suite specific needs and situations which may arise while out at sea. 

PNASH Research

Non-Fatal Injuries among Commercial Fishing Workers in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon

PNASH Pilot Project 2014-2015 | Laurel Kincl, PhD, MS

This pilot estimates non-fatal injuries among commercial fishermen, describes high-risk work processes, and identifies particularly vulnerable worker populations, such as young workers.

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Total Worker Health in Salmon Fishermen from Cordova, Alaska

PNASH Pilot Project 2014-2015 | Debra Cherry, MD, MS

This one-year study assessed chronic health conditions and habits among the gillnet fleet based out of Cordova, AK.

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Development of a Surveillance Strategy to Guide Injury Prevention Efforts in the Washington Commercial Fishing Industry

WA State MAAF 2011-2013 | June Spector, MD, MPH

This project responded to a pressing need to examine non-fatal fishing injuries data in order to identify areas where interventions are most needed to prevent injuries.

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