For reasons that aren’t clear to me, the fishing industry is wildly more dangerous than any other line of work. But there’s also significant variation among the varieties of fishing work. It turns out, however, that the Alaskan king crab fishery made famous by The Deadliest Catch is not, in fact, the deadliest of the lot. It’s merely third deadliest. You need to come to the East Coast to really get involved in thrill seeking:
Groundfishermen in the Northeast suffer the highest death rate among commercial fishermen, according to a study recently published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Twenty-six of 4,340 full-time groundfishermen died on the job between 2000 and 2009, the study found. The dubious honor of second-deadliest catch goes to Atlantic scalloping. Forty-four of 10,384 scallop fishermen lost their lives at sea during that same decade. By comparison, twelve of 4,658 Alaskan crab fishermen were killed.
I believe a groundfisherman catches cod, haddock and the like. The industry is also apparently in dire economic straights, though the knowledge that it’s incredibly deadly puts that in a different perspective. I believe that’s a higher death rate than serving in the Iraq War.