Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety
Washington fishermen catch more than 60% of the edible seafood harvested in the United States, but suffer from a tremendously high rate of vessel loss and fatalities in one of the most dangerous industries in the country.
Under stringent federal requirements for the commercial fishing industry, certified safety trainings are being offered through Extension staff to local commercial fishermen providing high quality hands-on training in emergency preparedness, safety orientation, and on-board drills instruction. These trainings meet the federal requirements of the Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Act and have resulted in the saving of lives and fishing equipment.
As a leader of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Storms Initiative (CSI) for Washington and Oregon, WSU Extension further improved weather forecasts off the Oregon and Washington coasts to increase the safety and operational efficiency of marine industries. The new CSI Weather buoy launched last year continues to provide critical wind and wave data in an important area for commercial vessels, giving them vital information on current conditions, and the speed and timing of weather changes.
Commercial fishing is a large, diverse, and significant industry in Washington State, with nearly 3 billion pounds of fish and shellfish harvested annually worth more than $1.5 billion at the wholesale level. Fishermen need technical training to help reduce their operating costs through improved vessel and gear maintenance and operation. The federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program offers commercial salmon fishermen an opportunity for technical assistance training to deal with foreign import competition. For more information about the TAA program and workshop schedule, contact Steve HarbellMarine Resource Agent.