Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries Awarded Grant to Develop Safety Training Program for Commercial Fishermen in Downeast Maine

Funding from NIOSH and USCG to Provide Training for Industry Members

STONINGTON, ME [October 23, 2019] – Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF) in Stonington has been awarded a $185,923 two-year grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) as recipients of the 2019 Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety Research Cooperative Agreement and Training Project Grant Program.

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries will provide safety training and occupational wellness education for participating fishermen in Hancock and Washington Counties. Students in the Eastern Maine Skippers Program will also have access to these trainings and resources. The four main objectives of the award are: increased access to safety drill training, actual implementation of training drills aboard fishing vessels, as well as design and dissemination of best practices and safety products aimed at fishermen who work solely without a crew or deckhands. Additionally, MCCF has directed focus on evaluation, prevention, and treatment of short and long-term physical/ergonomic and social hazards found in the fishing fleet.

“The Coast Guard is pleased to see the high caliber of applicants that competed for the Fiscal Year 2019 Fishing Safety Training and Research Grant Programs,” said Joseph D. Myers, chief of the Coast Guard’s Fishing Vessel Safety Division. “The packages submitted this year reflected the diversity of the fishing industry nationwide and clearly outlined a vision to enhance safety within the fishing industry. This aligns with the Coast Guard’s mission to promote a safe environment for all commercial fishers, and we anticipate this and future Fishing Safety Grant Programs will deliver large benefit to our maritime community.”

MCCF Executive Director, Paul Anderson shares, “This grant will allow us to provide both students and commercial fishermen with the tools and resources to ensure a safe working environment that could be used to save lives in an emergency situation on the water.”

Commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous industries in the United States, and the need for targeted safety research and training remains essential. The 2019 grants mark the first time the Fishing Safety Research and Training Grants have been available.

“These research and training projects should result in a reduction in occupational safety risk and ultimately help fishermen and their families across the United States,” said Jennifer M. Lincoln, PhD, co-director of the NIOSH Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies. “It was exciting to see the high-quality applications and the number of states where the work will take place.”

The Fishing Safety Research Grant Program was established by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-281), as amended by the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-281). The program was created to provide funding to advance fishing safety research and provide targeted, regionally appropriate training for the nation’s commercial fishermen. NIOSH works in partnership with the USCG to administer the program.

For more than two decades, NIOSH has conducted studies of fishing safety to reduce the incidence of injuries and fatalities among the nation’s fishermen. NIOSH accomplishes safety and health research in maritime industries through the Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies, which is a virtual center that serves as a hub for intramural and extramural researchers.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Find more information about NIOSH at www.cdc.gov/niosh.

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries connects fishermen, scientists, regulators and others through collaborative research, co-management, and stewardship to help secure the future of commercial fishing and the communities that depend on it. To learn more about MCCF or this project, please contact Tom Duym, Fisheries Education Specialist at 207.367.2708 or tduym@coastalfisheries.org. Visit us online at www.coastalfisheries.org.

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Contact:
Tom Duym, Fisheries Education Specialist
Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries
tduym@coastalfisheries.org │ 207.367.2708