Fishing vessel examiners have seen hundreds of fishing vessels from the inside out and are experienced in finding common deficiencies in safety orientations, instructions, drills and safety equipment. In addition, many on this panel are safety trainers and have learned techniques from fishermen and each other on how to prevent problems from developing and tips in safety and emergency procedures.

In the thousands of hours examiners and trainers have spent with fishermen in training, a lot of information on safety is shared between both groups. Survivors of fishing casualties have often provided valuable lesson of what to do or not to do in an emergency. This panel will share their experience to not only make it easier to pass a USCG examination, but also provide practical ideas to increase the effectiveness of safety orientations and emergency drills and procedures to take in an actual emergency.

The panel will include Coast Guard fishing vessel safety staff and examiners and a representative from AMSEA, who will share their experiences working with fishermen on helping fishermen be better prepared for an emergency.


Joseph Myers

Responsible for the Coast Guards U. S. Domestic Fishing Vessel Safety Program, overseeing policy, industry outreach, reports to congress, acts as Alternate Designated Federal Officer to the Fishing Safety Advisory Committee, is liaison w/CG Auxiliary, oversees nations FV District Coordinator and Examiner programs, and represents the U. S. Delegation at the International Maritime Organization on U.S. fishing industry positions.

Tenure with US Coast Guard (Active Duty/Civilian): 38 Years.

His Qualifications/Certifications: CG Marine Inspector, Fishing Vessel Safety Examiner, American Welding Society Certified Welder Educator, CG Master Training Specialist.

His Education: Master of Business Administration & Human Resources

He is married to Prisca Myers (36 years), with two daughters, and two grandchildren.

Scott Wilwert

Scott has worked as the Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program Manager for the Coast Guard’s 17th District which encompasses all of the State of Alaska, since August 2014.  Prior to that, he worked as a Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examiner based out of Juneau from 2008-2014.  Scott served on active duty for the Coast Guard for 20 years in various capacities at sea as a deck watch officer and boarding officer and ashore as an instructor of navigation and as a search and rescue planner for 36 years of total service with the Coast Guard to date.  In addition, he serves as an advisory board member for the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) and as one of their marine safety training instructors.

Jerry Dzugan

Jerry Dzugan has been the Director and Instructor Trainer for the Alaska Marine Safety Education  Association (AMSEA) for 35 years. He has taught thousands of fishermen on all coasts of the U.S. and has attended numerous training courses in the U.S., and Europe. He has fished in the Alaska salmon and halibut fisheries beginning in 1980 and is a fishing safety advocate. He also maintains a small fleet of his own vessels located in Sitka, AK.

Rebecca Weil, MS, OTR/L

Rebecca Weil, MS, OTR/L is the commercial fishing research coordinator at the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (NEC). For the past five years, she has worked with commercial lobstermen in Maine and Massachusetts, exploring ways to improve life jacket use and to support a better understanding of falls overboard survival systems. She is also working with commercial fishermen in Oregon, Alaska, and the Northeast exploring the intersection of sleep deprivation and health. Since 2012, Rebecca has worked with farmers and fishermen for The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) and NEC. Previous work has been in occupational therapy, and education.


Jessica Hathaway, Editor in Chief, National FishermanJessica Hathaway, Editor in Chief, National Fisherman

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.