Occupational injury deaths in Alaska's fishing industry, 1980 through 1988

Am J Public Health. 1993 May;83(5):685-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.5.685.


Objectives: Studies from other countries have identified fishing as a hazardous industry, but little is known about occupational injury mortality related to fishing in the United States. Alaska was chosen for this study because approximately 45,000 people annually participate in Alaska's fishing industry and fishing is thought to be a major contributor to occupational injury mortality in the state.

Methods: Work-related injury deaths in Alaska's fishing industry were identified by means of death certificates and US Coast Guard mortality data. Fatality rates were calculated by using average annual fishing industry employment estimates.

Results: The 5-year average annual fishing-related fatality rate was 414.6 per 100,000 fishermen. The majority of the decedents were Caucasian men who drowned while fishing.

Conclusions: This study emphasizes that fishing is a dangerous industry in Alaska and demonstrates the benefit of using multiple data sources to identify fishing-related deaths in the state.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Death Certificates
  • Drowning / mortality
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Fisheries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seasons