Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quick hits

Here's a few noteworthy items I couldn't get posted yesterday.

Are those reports of a virus outbreak in Canada's wild salmon bogus?

Citing the chronic high death rate of commercial fishermen, the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending crewmen wear a "flotation aid" at all times while on deck. Vessel owners, be sure to check out the other NTSB recommendations.

The Department of Fish and Game has posted a preliminary tally of the dockside value of this year's Alaska salmon harvest: $603 million. That's about the same as last year's adjusted value of $605 million.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has posted a draft assessment of the eastern Bering Sea pollock stock, and the numbers suggest we'll see a lower catch limit in 2012. The best reading is on pages 22-23. Deckboss tips his cap to KUCB radio at Dutch Harbor for breaking the story.


Anonymous said...

Safety is great, but you can't legislate good judgement.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they should also be required to all have a licensed skipper, most do but not all, and Capt. and crew be in a random drug testing program. It is required for all "for hire" Captain and crew members.

Anonymous said...

Sure make it harder to work hard. People will be dropping from heat stroke.

There are times to wear flotation devises, but other times they are a royal pain in the butt.

Anonymous said...

A float vest is great when the weather is at its worst and the pace is slower. But it becomes a danger while working with fishing gear that could easily snag your vest. Even the ties on your hood could get snagged and drag you overboard.

Anonymous said...

Everybody wants a safe industry, and I think for the most part we have one. There's been some high profile accidents, sure, but most of us have been fishing for many years and have never had an accident, hurt a crew, or lost a boat.

The problem is the bureaucrats who think perfect safety is just a matter of crafting the right suite of regulations. They like to compare accident rates in the maritime shipping industry and the commercial fishing industry and use this to conclude the fishing industry is under-regulated. No one points out they are comparing apples and oranges.

Of course, there was no discussion of regulatory cost to the industry in the NTSB press release.

Anonymous said...

I've been commercial fishing for 23 years and totally agree with the three previous comments.

Anonymous said...

I've been commercial fishing for 32 years, been skipper for the last 22 and my crew ALWAYS wears PFD's on deck. To my knowledge there has never been a fisherman who was wearing a PFD, that went overboard, who was not recovered. Remember, if you are not recovered, you will not live. I've heard all the arguments for not wearing a PFD, and they are all BULL CRAP!!! There are so many good PFD designs out there, you can find one that would fit any kind of fishery. Stop complaining and BUCK UP! If you were ever on a boat that lost a person overboard that did not get recovered, COULD YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF???

Anonymous said...

Skipper for 37 years. I'd say for the vast majority of deaths in Alaskan waters, it's the cold that gets you, the water is just the medium that conveys it. I've issued stormy seas vests to every deckhand with safety training and an option to wear whenever they desire. They never have worn them, preferring to practice safe operating principles, and stay onboard until it is time to "PUT ON THE SURVIVAL SUITS!" Floating/treading in cold water is alright for the first 20 minutes or so, but sleep soon follows without thermal protection. I know this as fact, I've done it for about 15 minutes. Unless you are wearing the orange Gumby suit, you're swimming vacation will be your last. And trying to require us to wear "survival suits" while working would be like requiring police forces to wear full body armor at all times, or miners not allowed to work underground.

Be real, we work on water, it's dangerous, we know it.