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Improve Fishing Vessel Safety

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The commercial fishing industry remains largely uninspected and is a marine sector of concern. Fishing consistently tops the list of most deadly occupations, due, in large part, to challenging work environments, such as poor weather and rough waters. These conditions threaten vessel stability and integrity—an issue we have seen in many of our investigations.

Today, approximately 58,000 U.S. commercial fishing vessels are in service in the United States. From 2000-2020, there have been 805 fatalities, 164 missing people, and 2,122 people injured in commercial fishing vessel accidents in the United States. 

One of the more prominent and tragic ones occurred in December 2019, when the Scandies Rose sank, taking the lives of five of the seven people on board. The NTSB identified the following safety issues during its investigation: the effect of extreme icing conditions, lack of accurate weather data for the accident area, the vessel’s inaccurate stability instructions and the need to update regulatory guidelines on calculating and communicating icing for vessel stability instructions. As a result of this accident, we issued seven new recommendations and reiterated two safety recommendations previously issued to the U.S. Coast Guard.

A decade ago, we held a Fishing Vessel Safety Forum. At that time, five safety recommendations were issued; three remain open today. In February 2017, the fishing vessel Destination sank in the Bering Sea, taking six lives. Following that accident, the NTSB issued a safety alert (SA 18-074)​ on icing. 

Much work remains to be done to improve commercial fishing vessel safety and address our recommendations. “Improve Passenger and Fishing Vessel Safety​” is a safety item highlighted on the NTSB 2021–2022 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements. 

In this roundtable, we are convening a panel of government officials, industry leaders, fishing vessel operators, safety experts, and survivors of fishing vessel accidents to discuss what we can do to address commercial fishing safety concerns, implement our recommendations, and improve the safety of fishing operations in the United States.


Date: October 14, 2021

Time: 1:00-3:30pm ET

Where: The roundtable will be webcast only. On the day of the event you can access the webcast at the link http://ntsb.windrosemedia.com

Register for this roundtable!

Panelist Biographies

Agenda:

​​​1200 –1300

  • Meet and greet attendees and roundtable participants

1300–1320

  • Chair Homendy, Welcome/Opening Remarks
  • Admiral Mauger, Remarks
  • Morgan Turrell, Preview/Previous forum/ Open recs/Introductions 

1320–1400

Panel 1: State of CFV Investigations and Perspective on State of CFV Safety in USA– (Presentations)

  • Current NTSB investigations/RE study, Brian Young
  • USCG CFV Safety Statistics, Capt. Neubauer
  • CDC / NIOSH Statistics, Dr. Jennifer Lincoln
  • NOAA – CFV Observer incidents/observations, Sarah Sullivan
  • Open Discussion/questions to panelists (20 minutes)
  • Questions by Chair Homendy and Morgan Turrell


1400–1410 Break


1410-1500

Panel 2: Industry/Associations, Observations regarding issues of safety issues, training, drug use, crew issues, credentialing, etc.

  • AMSEA safety initiatives, Jerry Dzugan
  • NPFVOA safety initiatives, Karen Conrad
  • Chris Woodley
  • Southern Shrimp Alliance, John Williams
  • Naval Architect (Stability), Garrett Norton
  • Marine Surveyor (Condition), Mike Collyer
  • Lifejackets for Lobstermen, Julie Sorensen
  • Personal Locator Beacons, Survivor Tan Bariboune
  • Open Discussion/questions to panelists (40 minutes)
  • ​Questions by Chair Homendy and Morgan Turrell

1500–1530

  • Final thoughts / key takeaways from panelists
  • Chair Homendy​, Closing remarks