The New England coast has been synonymous with fishing for over 400 years. Throughout those years, fishing as a occupation has been known for its dangers, independence and ingenuity to overcome challenges. These traits remain, especially the danger.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, New England ground fishermen are 37 times more likely to die on the job than a police officer. When compared to the average American worker, the New England ground fisherman is 171 times more likely to be killed on the job.
It is sadly ironic that the U.S. government is likely to put the final nail in the coffin of the industry. As this column outlined in October, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s insistence that ground fishermen fund the at-sea monitoring program is likely to put many of the fishing small businesses out of business. According to NOAA’s own report, the $710 per-day fee that the fishermen would need to fund to pay for the program will make 59 percent of the fishing enterprises unprofitable.
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