From Bad to Worse: The Impact of COVID-19 on Commercial Fisheries Workers

J Agromedicine. 2020 Oct;25(4):388-391. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2020.1815617. Epub 2020 Sep 12.


This commentary provides an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the commercial fishing industry. The information highlighted in the article was gathered from fishermen, fishing industry experts, health and safety advisors, and advocates. From these first-hand accounts, we provide the immediate and expansive impacts of COVID-19 on fishermen's health and wellbeing. In particular, we discuss the economic impact of COVID-19 market disruptions, as well as the very real, logistical challenges of protecting workers on fishing vessels. We also provide examples of how these combined issues have led to increased occupational risk in one of the nation's most deadly industries. Lastly, we identify a number of recommendations for providing much-needed support for commercial fishermen in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; commercial fishing; fishermen; health; safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / economics*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / psychology
  • Farmers* / psychology
  • Farmers* / statistics & numerical data
  • Fisheries / economics*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health
  • Pandemics