Commercial fishing

Commercial fishing is the capture of fish for commercial purposes. Those who practice it must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions. Commercial fishermen harvest almost all aquatic species, from tuna, cod and salmon to shrimp, krill, lobster, clams, squid and crab, in various fisheries for these species. Commercial fishing methods have become very efficient using large nets and sea-going processing factories. Individual fishing quotas and international treaties seek to control the species and quantities caught. A commercial fishing enterprise may vary from one man with a small boat with hand-casting nets or a few pot traps, to a huge fleet of trawlers processing tons of fish every day. Commercial fishing gear includes weights, nets (e.g. purse seine), seine nets (e.g. beach seine), trawls (e.g. bottom trawl), dredges, hooks and line (e.g. long line and handline), lift nets, gillnets, entangling nets and traps. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, total world capture fisheries production in 2000 was 86 million tons (FAO 2002). The top producing countries were, in order, the People's Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), Peru, Japan, the United States, Chile, Indonesia, Russia, India, Thailand, Norway and Iceland. Those countries accounted for more than half of the world's production; China alone accounted for a third of the world's production. Of that production, over 90% was marine and less than 10% was inland. Intensive koi aquaculture facility in Israel A small number of species support the majority of the worldТs fisheries. Some of these species are herring, cod, anchovy, tuna, flounder, mullet, squid, shrimp, salmon, crab, lobster, oyster and scallops. All except these last four provided a worldwide catch of well over a million tonnes in 1999, with herring and sardines together providing a catch of over 22 million metric tons in 1999. Many other species as well are fished in smaller numbers. Commercial fishing methods have become very efficient using large nets and factory ships. Many new restrictions are often integrated with varieties of fishing allocation schemes (such as individual fishing quotas), and international treaties that have sought to limit the fishing effort and, sometimes, capture efficiency. Fishing methods vary according to the region, the species being fished for, and the technology available to the fishermen. A commercial fishing enterprise may vary from one man with a small boat with hand-casting nets or a few pot traps, to a huge fleet of trawlers processing tons of fish every day. The other part of the gear being updated is to avoid catching certain species of animal that is unwanted or endangered. Billions of dollars are spent each year in researching/developing new techniques to reduce the injury and even death of unwanted marine animals caught by the fishermen.[6] In fact, there was a study taken in 2000 on different dete rents and how effective they are at deterring the target species. The study showed that most auditory deterrents helped prevent whales from being caught while more physical barriers helped prevent birds from getting tangled within the net.[7] Commercial fishing gears in use today include surrounding nets (e.g. purse seine), seine nets (e.g. beach seine), trawls (e.g. bottom trawl), dredges, hooks and lines (e.g. long line and handline), lift nets, gillnets, entangling nets and traps. [edit]Occupational risk During 2000-2006, commercial fishing was one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, with an average annual fatality rate of 115 deaths per 100,000 fishermen.[8][9] This fatality rate is 3 times that of the next most dangerous job in the U.S. and more than 25 times that of the national average across all workers.[8][10] Also, between the years of 1919 and 2005, 4111 fishermen died in fishing related accidents in the United Kingdom industry alone.[11] These deaths are generally a result of a combination of severe weather conditions, extreme fatigue due to the fact that any one fisherman usually puts in a 21 hour shift, and dangerous equipment.[3][10] The U.S. Coast Guard has primary jurisdiction over the safety of the U.S. commercial fishing fleet, enforcing regulations of the U.S. Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 (CFIVSA). CFIVSA regulations focus primarily on saving lives after the loss of a vessel and not on preventing vessels from capsizing or sinking, falls overboard, or injuries on deck. CFIVSA regulations require that commercial fishing vessels carry various equipment (e.g., life rafts, radio beacons, and immersion suits) depending on the size of the vessel and the area in which it operates.[8] Not all commercial fishermen follow safety regulations and advice. One study of Maine fishermen found that less than 25% of the fishermen interviewed had recent training in first aid or CPR, only 75% of the boats had survival suits and only 36% had a survival craft.[10] Even the ships that did have the necessary equipment did not consistently have a captain that fully understood how to use the safety equipment.[10] Common causes of fishing-related deaths include vessel disasters, falls overboard, and onboard injuries. The United States National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Commercial Fishing Incident Database found that between 2000 and 2010, most vessel disasters often were initiated by flooding, vessel instability, and large waves, and that severe weather conditions contributed to a majority of fatal vessel disasters.[12] Most falls overboard went unwitnessed, and in none of the cases documented was the victim wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).[12] Onboard injuries often result when a crew member is caught in a line and pulled into a winch on deck. The installation of a readily accessible emergency stop switch on the winch can potentially prevent these kinds of injuries.