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Commercial crab fishing

Commercial fishing is the activity of capturing fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the world, but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions. Large scale commercial fishing is also known as industrial fishing.

Commercial fishermen harvest a wide variety of animals, ranging from tuna, cod and salmon to shrimp, krill, lobster, clams, squid and crab, in various fisheries for these species.

Commercial fishing methods have become very efficient using large nets and factory ships. Many new restrictions are often integrated with varieties of fishing allocation schemes (such as individual fishing quotas), and international treaties that have sought to limit the fishing effort and, sometimes, capture efficiency.

Fishing methods vary according to the region, the species being fished for, and the technology available to the fishermen. A commercial fishing enterprise may vary from one man with a small boat with hand-casting nets or a few pot traps, to a huge fleet of trawlers processing tons of fish every day.

Commercial fishing gears today are surrounding nets (e.g. purse seine), seine nets (e.g. beach seine), trawls (e.g. bottom trawl), dredges, hooks and lines (e.g. long line and handline), lift nets, gillnets, entangling nets and traps.

There are large and important fisheries worldwide for various species of fish, mollusks and crustaceans. However, a very small number of species support the majority of the world’s fisheries. Some of these species are herring, cod, anchovy, tuna, flounder, mullet, squid, shrimp, salmon, crab, lobster, oyster and scallops. All except these last four provided a worldwide catch of well over a million tonnes in 1999, with herring and sardines together providing a catch of over 22 million metric tons in 1999. Many other species as well are fished in smaller numbers.

A 2009 paper in Science estimates, for the first time, the total world fish biomass as somewhere between 0.8 and 2.0 billion tonnes.[1][2]

Occupational risk

During 2000-2006, commercial fishing was one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, with an average annual fatality rate of 115 deaths per 100,000 fishermen.[3][4] The U.S. Coast Guard has primary jurisdiction over the safety of the U.S. commercial fishing fleet, enforcing regulations of the U.S. Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 (CFIVSA). CFIVSA regulations focus primarily on saving lives after the loss of a vessel and not on preventing vessels from capsizing or sinking, falls overboard, or injuries on deck. CFIVSA regulations require that commercial fishing vessels carry various equipment (e.g., life rafts, radio beacons, and immersion suits) depending on the size of the vessel and the area in which it operates.[3]

References

  1. ^ Wilson RW, Millero FJ, Taylor JR, Walsh PJ, Christensen V, Jennings S, Grosell M (2009) "Contribution of Fish to the Marine Inorganic Carbon Cycle" Science, 323 (5912) 359-362.
  2. ^ Researcher gives first-ever estimate of worldwide fish biomass and impact on climate change PhysOrg.com, 15 January 2009.
  3. ^ a b Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Commercial Fishing Fatalities - California, Oregon, and Washington, 2000-2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. April 25, 2008/57(16);426-429. Accessed October 20, 2008.
  4. ^ Lincoln, Jennifer. Commercial Fishing Safety. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. April 29, 2008. Accessed October 20, 2008.

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