Safety in the Canadian Commercial Fishing Industry: Over a Decade on the Transportation Safety Board Watchlist, what has changed?
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Commercial fishing is considered one of the most dangerous occupations in Canada, as dozens of fishermen lose their lives or get seriously injured every year. Since 2010 fishing safety has been on the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s (TSB) Watchlist. This research explores whether the Canadian federal government has made any progress in enhancing fishing safety a decade after it was listed on the TSB’s Watchlist by looking at fishing accident statistics and policy changes. A secondary data (descriptive statistical and thematic) analysis was used in this research. The results indicate a decline in fatalities among fishermen in the past decade. However, safety issues contributing to fishing accidents remain similar to those identified two decades ago, specifically issues related to vessel stability and lifesaving appliances. Moreover, most fishing accidents involve small fishing vessels, a pattern that has not changed for decades. Canada has made notable progress in the policy work to improve fishing safety in the past few years, especially with the development of new fishing vessel safety regulations (FVSR). However, this progress can be jeopardized by exempting certain small fishing fleets from essential stability and lifesaving equipment requirements and a lack of adequate oversight and enforcement. Keywords: Commercial fishing, safety, regulations, FVSR, marine accidents, Canada, Atlantic region, pacific region, risks, fishing fatalities, safety deficiencies
Al-Ajdaa, F. 2022. Safety in the Canadian commercial fishing industry: Over a decade on the Transportation Safety Board Watchlist, what has changed? [graduate project]. Halifax, NS: Dalhousie University