TitleNon-Fatal Injuries and Injury Treatment in the West Coast Dungeness Crab Fishery.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBovbjerg, VE, Vaughan, A, Syron, LN, Jacobson, KR, Pillai, S, Kincl, L
JournalJ Agromedicine
Date Published07/2019


Non-fatal injuries in the high risk US Dungeness crab fishery have been under-documented, despite their potential for lost work time and income, long-term disability, and early unwanted retirement. The Fishermen Led Injury Prevention Program (FLIPP) characterized injuries in this fishery, in order to identify work hazards and inform injury control measures.


The FLIPP injury survey was completed by 426 fishermen in 23 Washington, Oregon, and California fishing ports prior to the 2015-2016 Dungeness crab season; 413 (97%) provided injury information for this analysis. Participants indicated whether they had been injured in the previous 12 months, described the injury, any treatments received, and whether the injury limited their ability to work.


Participants were mostly male (98%), more than half (56.6%) worked as deckhands, and reported considerable fishing experience (median = 14 years, interquartile range 5-27). Eighty-nine fishermen (21.5%) reported an injury incident in the past year, of which 49 (55.1%) were limiting. The 89 incidents yielded 102 injuries, of which nearly two-thirds were sprains/strains (23, 22.5%), surface wounds/bruises (17, 15.0%), cuts (18, 17.6%), or punctures (11, 10.8%). More severe injuries, including eight fractures, were rare. The majority of injuries received either no treatment (27, 26.5%) or first aid (35, 34.3%); clinical care was less common (22, 21.6%), and emergency care rare (3, 2.9%).


One in five Dungeness crab fishermen reported an injury incident in the previous year. Most injuries were not severe and did not result in clinical care, but approximately half were work-limiting. Control measures must account for the remote and resource-limited workplace in commercial fishing.

Alternate JournalJ Agromedicine
PubMed ID31335297