open access

Vol 66, No 4 (2015)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Submitted: 2015-12-22
Accepted: 2015-12-22
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Mortality from accidents, disease, suicide and homicide in the British fishing industry from 1900 to 2010

Stephen E. Roberts, Tim Carter
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2015.0042
·
Pubmed: 26726892
·
International Maritime Health 2015;66(4):211-219.

open access

Vol 66, No 4 (2015)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Submitted: 2015-12-22
Accepted: 2015-12-22

Abstract

Background: To establish the causes of mortality in the British fishing industry from 1900 up to 2010, to investigate long term trends in mortality and to identify causal factors in the mortality patterns and rates.

Materials and methods: A longitudinal study, based on examinations of official death inquiry files, marine accident investigation files and reports, death registers and annual death returns.

Results: Mortality rates from accidents while working at sea remain high in the British fishing industry. Over the twentieth century there has been a progressive fall in the numbers of deaths, much of this relates to changes in fishing methods and in the types of vessels used. However in recent years, and with a fleet of smaller vessels, the mortality rates from accidents have shown little change and a larger proportion of deaths than in the past have arisen from personal injuries and drowning as compared to vessel losses. Disease makes a relatively small contribution to mortality at sea and this has dwindled with the decline in distant water fishing. Suicide and homicide both feature in a small way, but rates cannot readily be compared with those ashore.

Conclusions: The pattern of change in vessels, fisheries and fishing techniques over the study period are complex. However, improved injury and drowning prevention is the most important way to reduce deaths, coupled with attention to vessel stability and maintenance. The social, economic and organisational features of the fishing industry mean that securing improvements in these areas is a major challenge.  

Abstract

Background: To establish the causes of mortality in the British fishing industry from 1900 up to 2010, to investigate long term trends in mortality and to identify causal factors in the mortality patterns and rates.

Materials and methods: A longitudinal study, based on examinations of official death inquiry files, marine accident investigation files and reports, death registers and annual death returns.

Results: Mortality rates from accidents while working at sea remain high in the British fishing industry. Over the twentieth century there has been a progressive fall in the numbers of deaths, much of this relates to changes in fishing methods and in the types of vessels used. However in recent years, and with a fleet of smaller vessels, the mortality rates from accidents have shown little change and a larger proportion of deaths than in the past have arisen from personal injuries and drowning as compared to vessel losses. Disease makes a relatively small contribution to mortality at sea and this has dwindled with the decline in distant water fishing. Suicide and homicide both feature in a small way, but rates cannot readily be compared with those ashore.

Conclusions: The pattern of change in vessels, fisheries and fishing techniques over the study period are complex. However, improved injury and drowning prevention is the most important way to reduce deaths, coupled with attention to vessel stability and maintenance. The social, economic and organisational features of the fishing industry mean that securing improvements in these areas is a major challenge.  

Get Citation

Keywords

mortality, accidents, disease, suicide, homicide, fishing industry

About this article
Title

Mortality from accidents, disease, suicide and homicide in the British fishing industry from 1900 to 2010

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 66, No 4 (2015)

Pages

211-219

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2015.0042

Pubmed

26726892

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2015;66(4):211-219.

Keywords

mortality
accidents
disease
suicide
homicide
fishing industry

Authors

Stephen E. Roberts
Tim Carter

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