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Minimum safety standards needed for fishing vessel crews and observers by Peter Horn & Tahiana Vargas Fajardo October 29,2020   |  Source: PEW

Fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous professions. According to one estimate in the United States, under normal circumstances, commercial fishing crews and observers face a death rate 10 times higher than merchant vessel crews, largely due to inadequate safety measures on fishing vessels.

This year, COVID-19 has further affected the safety and well-being of fishers at sea, preventing some from returning to their home countries and extending the time at sea for many. Fishers have found themselves stranded abroad with little or no protections, and some have been forced to remain on substandard, unsafe vessels. Although this year is atypical, the dangers fishers face are persistent, and the current pandemic highlights the pressing need to improve working and safety conditions on-board fishing vessels.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have long acknowledged the link between vessel working, living, and safety conditions and incidents of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which often happens during long periods at sea, well out of sight of land, or in remote or dangerous locations. Preventing IUU fishing worldwide is critical to


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