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Industry Overview

The Northeast Center works with fishermen and fishing organizations to develop solutions to keep them safe and well at work. We believe the best solutions come from collaborating with fishermen and their communities. The sustainability of the industry depends on many things, including its workers.

1 in 4 of the commercial fishing jobs in the US are located along the stretch of Atlantic Coast served by Northeast Center.

Source: NOAA Fisheries and Bureau of Labor Statistics

$38.5 B
Annual sales yielded by the commercial fishing industry in the Northeast.

The Catch

What these industry numbers don’t tell are the human stories—the dedication, sacrifice, stress, toll on the body and even loss of life of those who make their living from the sea. From 2000 to 2017, commercial fishermen died on the job at a rate of 114 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. That’s 28.5 times higher than the average on-the-job fatality rate for U.S. workers. Fisheries workers also suffer from higher rates of injury, hearing loss and musculoskeletal disorders than those in other industries.

Commercial Fishing Safety Trainings

The Northeast Center in partnership with Fishing Partnership Support Services offers commercial fishing safety trainings. To find out the date and location of an upcoming training nearest you, please contact us by email at or phone at (800) 343-7527.

Schedule a Training

Basic Conductor Trainings

One-day, hands-on training consists of six one-hour modules that cover the topics below:


  • Survival Suits
  • Damage Control
  • Fire Fighting and Emergency Communications
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Man Overboard Procedures and Helicopter Hoist Procedures
  • Life Rafts and Emergency Flares

Drill Conductor Course

This course builds on the skills learned in the Basic Safety Training and is only open to fishermen who have attended the Basic course. The one-day training involves an Emergency Procedures classroom / morning section and On-board Drills (aboard a local vessel) in the afternoon section. Completion of this course meets the Drill Conductor certification requirements of 46 CFR 28.270, and allows the fishermen to conduct the monthly required drills of Man Overboard, Fire, Damage Control, and Abandon Ship.

Vessel Safety Apps

The Small Craft Motion Program (SCraMP) app monitors vessel motion in real time, giving a captain early warning of vessel instability so that the captain might take action before capsizing occurs. The Fishing Vessel Drills app provides drill checklists, dynamic drill scenarios, electronic logs, and reminders. Watch this demonstration of how both apps work or download to a phone or tablet. Both apps are a project of  Johns Hopkins University researchers in partnership with the Northeast Center.

Featured Fishing Projects

Sleep Deprivation at Sea


Lifejackets for Lobstermen

Boat Hacks for Better Backs

“My life is my health is my life”


News & Media

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