APPENDIX

D

Data Sources and Issues

NATIONAL SAFETY DATA

Potential data sources for assessing safety in the fishing industry at the national level include the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board, National Marine Fisheries Service, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Marine Index Bureau.

U.S. Coast Guard Data

Coast Guard data are maintained on a program by program basis. Some programs have multiple data bases that were developed independently and are not compatible because of computer operating systems, software, data format, or data fields maintained (see U.S. General Accounting Office, 1990). The principal Coast Guard data sources used for this report follow.

Main Casualty (CASMAIN) Data

At present, the U.S. Coast Guard CASMAIN data base is the only source of detailed information available on fishing vessel casualties in the United States. The CASMAIN data base is a coded summary of incidents reported on Coast Guard Marine Casualty Reports. While the CASMAIN data do not cover all commercial fishing vessels or injuries, they provide sufficient information to demonstrate that there are significant safety concerns in commercial fishing, and are useful for identifying the nature and proximate causes of vessel and



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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program APPENDIX D Data Sources and Issues NATIONAL SAFETY DATA Potential data sources for assessing safety in the fishing industry at the national level include the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board, National Marine Fisheries Service, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Marine Index Bureau. U.S. Coast Guard Data Coast Guard data are maintained on a program by program basis. Some programs have multiple data bases that were developed independently and are not compatible because of computer operating systems, software, data format, or data fields maintained (see U.S. General Accounting Office, 1990). The principal Coast Guard data sources used for this report follow. Main Casualty (CASMAIN) Data At present, the U.S. Coast Guard CASMAIN data base is the only source of detailed information available on fishing vessel casualties in the United States. The CASMAIN data base is a coded summary of incidents reported on Coast Guard Marine Casualty Reports. While the CASMAIN data do not cover all commercial fishing vessels or injuries, they provide sufficient information to demonstrate that there are significant safety concerns in commercial fishing, and are useful for identifying the nature and proximate causes of vessel and

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program personnel casualties. However, data on causes of casualties are incomplete. In addition, the CASMAIN data do not include information on the fishery in which vessels were participating when casualties occurred. The CASMAIN data base includes different information for vessel and personnel casualties (fatalities and injuries). Relatively more information about the vessel, location of the incident, and environmental conditions at the time is provided for vessel than for personnel casualties. In general, better data are available on safety problems for documented than for undocumented vessels. Reporting of marine casualties is required by 46 U.S.C.A. §6101. A “Report of Marine Accident, Injury, or Death” (Form CG-2692) must be filed with Coast Guard marine safety offices for all marine incidents resulting in: accidental as well as intentional grounding, which creates a hazard to navigation, the environment, or the safety of the vessel; loss of main propulsion or primary steering, or reduction of the vessel's maneuvering capabilities; occurrences materially and adversely affecting the vessel's seaworthiness or fitness for service, such as fire, flooding, or damage to bilge pumping systems; loss of life; serious injury; or any occurrence resulting in property damage in excess of $25,000. Specific reporting criteria are found in 46 CFR Part 4. Depending on the seriousness of the incident, further investigations or formal inquiries may take place. Records of these events are on file for 3 years at marine safety offices, after which they are permanently filed with the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Evaluation Branch, Marine Investigations Division, in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 reports are filed each year for incidents on commercial fishing industry vessels. Filed with some reports are more extensive investigation records, but the thoroughness is uneven. That there is a record on file does not mean the Coast Guard was actively involved in the incident, although in many cases Coast Guard forces may have responded. Coast Guard officials believe that the CASMAIN data base includes most fishing vessel casualties resulting in major damage to and most fatalities occurring on documented vessels. However, less serious vessel casualty incidents, such as temporary grounding or propulsion loss, may never be reported to the Coast Guard and thus may not be included in the CASMAIN data base. Similarly, many injuries are got reported. In addition, more serious incidents may not be reported if they occur on small, undocumented vessels and the Coast Guard does got become involved in providing rescue services. Thus, the CASMAIN data base may significantly understate the extent of injuries and minor vessel casualties (those not resulting in major damage) for all vessels, as well as fatalities or major vessel casualties for undocumented vessels.

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program Some vessel casualty incidents not recorded in CASMAIN may be recorded in Coast Guard search and rescue (SAR) data. However, the CASMAIN and SAR data bases are not compatible with regard to computer operating systems, software, or common key data fields, making cross-comparison difficult. Other incidents might be reflected in the Coast Guard 's recreational boating safety (RBS) data base, inasmuch as a number of smaller commercial fishing vessels are converted recreational vessel hulls. Again, the data bases are got compatible. CASMAIN data are believed to be reasonably complete for fatalities associated with documented fishing vessels, although it is difficult to screen out deaths not directly related to commercial fishing activities, such as suicides. Fatality data are believed to be somewhat less complete for deaths associated with state-numbered vessels. The Coast Guard believes that about 90 percent of marine commercial fishing fatalities are recorded in CASMAIN. One reason is that except for the state of Alaska, which issues death certificates for state residents lost at sea, only the Coast Guard, in the absence of an individual 's remains, will issue a letter of presumptive death needed by heirs to settle estates. Coast Guard field stations also maintain liaison with local authorities, learning of some fishing industry fatalities via that medium. Although reports are required for serious injuries, CASMAIN data on personal injuries are poor. The data are incomplete and of limited utility. The Coast Guard does not have a formal estimate of how many reportable injuries are recorded. No data were developed that provide insight on what the actual percentage is. It is known from such sources as the Alaska Fishermen's Fund (discussed later in this appendix), however, that the incidence of personal injuries in the harvest sector exceeds that recorded in CASMAIN. Many injuries do not meet the reporting thresholds; those that do may simply not be reported. CASMAIN cause data, while incomplete, are nevertheless the best source of cause data for fishing industry vessel casualties. CASMAIN data coding allows for up to seven cause categories, but in practice, supplemental data identifying contributing or underlying factors to casualties are entered for only about 30 percent of recorded cases. Even the primary cause code is recorded as “unknown” for 40 percent or more of all accidents. Thus, CASMAIN data do not provide for thorough analysis of how human error, vessel or equipment failure, and environmental factors interact in causing vessel or personnel casualties. Search and Rescue (SAR) Data The Coast Guard maintains data on each SAR case in which Coast Guard forces assisted. This assistance can include everything from communications services to extensive surface and air searches for missing vessels and personnel. Data are not available for situations where external assistance was required but the Coast Guard was got involved. The data provide very useful information about the utilization of Coast

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program Guard forces for SAR and the results of each case in which they are involved. The data are recorded by Coast Guard field forces on a standard collection form and entered into the SAR data base administered by the Search and Rescue Division at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. SAR data include much less information than CASMAIN data and are got integrated with the CASMAIN data base. SAR data include both documented and state-numbered vessels, although they cannot be isolated. SAR data fields are general with regard to cause and got entirely compatible with CASMAIN, as noted previously. The data fields are primarily oriented toward vessel-related information, although limited information is available on the number of fatalities. Individual vessels cannot be isolated in the data to determine if they have been the subject of multiple SAR incidents. The actual number of vessels lost is not recorded. Rather, the data record the value of property lost or saved and severity of the incident. From the severity and nature-of-incident codes, it is possible to approximate the number of vessels totally lost. These coding dimensions significantly limit the utility of the data for analytical purposes, although the severity codes do provide a general sense of how serious the incident was. An electronic mapping and density plotting capability for displaying SAR data was available for this study and used to develop density plots of SAR cases in which personnel or property were in danger of being lost or were lost. Sample density plots are shown in Chapter 3. SAR data record only one cause data field for human factors— personnel error. The Coast Guard's SAR data system manual does not provide criteria for using this category, leaving determinations to the discretion of the reporting source. The single-dimensional nature of SAR data precludes analyzing the interactive or interdependent relationship of human factors in the chain of events producing a SAR case to other cause categories, such as propulsion or hall failure and fuel exhaustion. Man-overboard incidents are not categorized, nor is the availability, use, or proper performance of lifesaving equipment. Summary Enforcement Event Report (SEER) The SEER data base is maintained by the Operational Law Enforcement Division of Coast Guard Headquarters. Its function to provide data support for maritime law enforcement activities is oriented toward drug and fisheries enforcement. It records the number of boardings of commercial fishing industry vessels by Coast Guard forces. The only year for which complete data are available is fiscal year 1989. Documented and state-registered fishing vessels cannot be isolated in the data, although the total number of fishing vessel boardings is recorded. Data fields do not permit correlation with other Coast Guard data bases. Multiple boardings that occurred cannot be determined using existing data base software, but can be ascertained from an entry-by-entry

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program review of each data file. SEER data also include violations of marine pollution, and safety and survival equipment laws and regulations. These are all coded as “boating safety” violations and cannot be separated for analysis. The quality of individual boardings and the resulting documentation depend on the experience and expertise of boarding officers. Thus, some violations reported by boarding officers—estimates range from 5 to 15 percent—are screened out as technical nonviolations of pollution and uninspected vessel regulations prior to submitting violation repons for civil penalty action. As a result, SEER data have limited utility for safety analysis, though they proved useful for assessing the scope of underway boarding activity affecting commercial fishing industry vessels. Marine Safety Information System (MSIS) MSIS is a proprietary, on-line, computer-based electronic information system for marine safety information. Informatation is recorded by vessel. Among the data maintained are boarding histories of commercial vessels. There is no direct capability to interrogate MSIS for aggregate data, type of fishing industry vessel, or utilization within the industry. The information in MSIS is compatible with CASMAIN and can be downloaded. In this manner, some aggregation of current information may be possible, but was beyond the scope of this study. The Coast Guard has initiated a project (Marine Safety Management System) to improve cross-referencing of all marine safety data collected by the Service, including that maintained in MSIS, CASMAIN, and other data bases maintained by the Office of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection in Washington, D.C. The Coast Guard is also developing a prototype Marine Safety Network (MSN) as a technologically advanced replacement for MSIS. Recreational Boating Safety Data Fishing vessels are eligible for courtesy marine examinations (CMEs) offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary in support of recreational boating safety. Accidents involving recreational vessels are required to be reported by law. The data are recorded in a data base maintained by the Auxiliary, Boating and Consumer Affairs Division at Coast Guard Headquarters. The data collection form (CG-3865) includes data fields for “commercial activity” and “fishing.” However, the Coast Guard's boating safety data base is not used to discriminate between recreational and uninspected commercial fishing vessels for either CMEs or boating accident analysis. This precluded an assessment of accidents involving state-numbered commercial fishing vessels for which boating accident

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program reports may have been filed. Furthermore, Auxiliary activity is almost exclusively oriented toward the recreational public. Uninspected fishing vessel use of the CME public service is considered negligible. National Transportation Safety Board Data The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) maintains a data base of fishing industry accidents it considers. The data are limited to a small number of major casualties. NTSB reports of these casualties reflect safety problems suspected to be endemic to the industry, but the data base does not provide the means for determining the safety records of vessels industrywide. National Marine Fisheries Service Data The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) conducts extensive compliance boardings of uninspected fishing vessels under fisheries management regulations. However, NMFS officials do not check for safety or survival equipment. The NMFS Enforcement Management Information System contains no information relevant to vessel safety. However, estimates of landings and aggregate numbers of vessels active in commercial fishing are collected from regional sources and maintained in a national data base. While not complete, this information can be used to provide a general indication of fleet size. NMFS regional data sources are discussed later in this appendix. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Data Both the Coast Guard and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have responsibilities in this area. OSHA has enabling authority to regulate occupational safety and health aboard certain uninspected fishing industry vessels that are not inspected by the Coast Guard. So far, the Coast Guard has not preempted OSHA with regard to regulation of uninspected fishing vessels (see Expert, 1989), and OSHA's involvement has been limited to regulating industrial activities aboard fish processors employing more than 10 workers. OSHA compliance inspections are conducted periodically and the results recorded in a data base. OSHA data base files were reviewed by the committee. They contain limited information about processing-line accidents, but negligible information on operational safety. The Coast Guard has sponsored extensive research concerning marine occupational safety, principally focused on hazardous materials. Standards in this area are being considered. The work to date may have some application aboard large processing vessels, but appears to have limited application for the majority of fishing industry vessels.

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program Marine Index Bureau Data The Commercial Fishing Claims Register (CFCR) Insurance companies keep records of claims filed by commercial fishing vessel owners resulting from both vessel and personnel casualties. However, these claims data have not generally been available to researchers. Moreover, claims submitted to any particular insurance company are not necessarily representative of the types of incidents occurring in the fishing industry as a whole. However, got all companies Dave participated in sending this information to the CFCR, and since even these participating companies do got send records of all claims, the CFCR data cannot be considered a representative sample of injuries occurring in the commercial fishing industry. The collection form employed for this data base contains data fields that could be effectively cross-tabulated for both personal injury and hull and machinery data. However, in practice, only the injury sections of the CFCR forms have been completed by voluntary contributors from the marine insurance industry. The injury data are very incomplete and are principally from the North Atlantic and Pacific Northwest, and the population of insured vessels represented is not known. CFCR data are got sufficiently complete to permit meaningful analysis, but could prove very valuable if they ware more fully developed. Vital Statistics Data Death certificates provide an alternative source of data on commercial fishing fatalities. As noted in Chapter 3, proportional mortality rate (PMR) analysis can be used to track occupational fatalities in commercial fishing, even in the absence of population-at-risk and employment data. Death certificate data may also be used to validate Coast Guard fatality data. As part of its West Coast regional assessment, death certificate data for Washington State were compared with Coast Guard CASMAIN records. This disclosed that CASMAIN fatality data accounted for nearly all deaths recorded for Washington State commercial fishermen. However, there are significant limitations to death certificate data as an immediate solution to data problems in assessing safety in the commercial fishing industry. Although death certificates in most states provide information on the deceased's occupation, in many states it is got computer coded. In addition, it is usually not possible to discern part-time from full-time commercial fishermen or to obtain comprehensive information on circumstances surrounding the fatality. Published vital statistics are frequently organized by occupational groups using common denominators meaningful to the public at large. The common frames of reference are often deaths per thousand or hundred thousand. Similar denominator-based approaches are used to convey comparative information

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program about vessel casualties. Applying analytical technique to safety assessments in the commercial fishing industry had very limited utility for this study. Where occupational mortality was recorded in national data bases, it was aggregated with agriculture and forestry statistics. Furthermore, unless vastly improved data become available, particularly with regard to populations at risk and exposure variables, denominator-based statistics to assess safety problems or monitor safety performance must be used with great care. Proportional statistics hold promise for monitoring changes in the fishing industry, but have been applied in only one state. Plans for Development of New Data Sources Recognizing the lack of data on commercial fishing occupational illnesses and injuries, the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 (CFIVSA) included provisions calling for the development of better data. Proposed regulations released by the Coast Guard would require the owner or individual in charge of the vessel to report any “injury to an individual that causes that individual to remain incapacitated for a period in excess of 72 hours” either to the insurance underwriter for the vessel or to the Marine Index Bureau. The underwriter of primary insurance would have to report each casualty to the Marine Index Bureau within 90 days of being notified and when it paid a claim. It is not yet known when this reporting system may be instituted and to what extent the information will be available for research on occupational illnesses and injuries in the commercial fishing industry. REGIONAL SAFETY DATA Regional Assessments A large volume of data was assembled for this study. The data available at the national level were not complete and in most cases could not be effectively correlated. As a result, regional assessments were commissioned to supplement national data on the numbers and status of uninspected fishing industry vessels and the population at risk. The regional data varied greatly in availability as well. Generally, the more reliable data were available for the West Coast and Alaska. But, considerable insight for each region was obtained through the process. Proportional mortality rates ware available for fishermen domiciled in Washington State. Injury data were very limited except for Alaska; some injuries ware compensated for through the Alaska Fisherman's Fund, which provides a partial injury data resource. Inadequacies with virtually all the data made it difficult to normalize them to develop casualty rates. The following sections provide a synopsis of major regional data sources.

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program North Atlantic Region The NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, maintains data on catch effort and operating units in the fisheries. The data are based on an interview system in which NMFS statistical agents are assigned to major fishing ports throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states to collect data at landing sites. No federal or state records documenting actual fish landings were identified. Fish auction records are available concerning estimated catches. South Atlantic and Gulf/Caribbean Regions The NMFS Southeast Regional Fisheries Science Center, Miami, Florida, administers an interview system similar to that found in the North Atlantic region. The system is less robust because of the size of the regions and dispersion of the fishing fleet. Formal documentation of actual fish landings is not maintained at either the federal or state levels. West Coast Region PACFIN Research Data Base All fish landings at West Coast and Alaskan ports are formally documented by a “fish ticket” for every vessel that lands fish commercially on the West Coast. These data are collected by the states and include the number of landings, specific data on the vessel's state of registry, port operated from, vessel information— including whether documented or state-numbered— species landed, and date. The data are provided by the states to the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, California, and the NMFS Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers in Seattle, Washington, and archived in the PACFIN research data base in Seattle. The PACFIN data were available to the committee on a very limited basis. They are excellent for monitoring fishing activity, but do not provide exposure data. It may be possible to estimate exposure data based on the data and local knowledge about fishing practices. Alaskan Region The fish ticket information discussed above applies, as does the discussion in Chapter 3 of how this information and vessel and personnel licensing information maintained by the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission in Juneau, Alaska, could be more fully exploited for Alaskan fisheries. A source of data on fishing injuries in Alaska is claims to the Alaska Fishermen's Fund, which was established in 1951 to provide for treatment

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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY: Blueprint for a National Program and care of Alaska licensed commercial fishermen who are injured or become disabled while engaged in commercial fishing in Alaska. All persons holding Alaska commercial fishing licenses are eligible for up to $2,500 for medical expenses. In recent years, the Fishermen 's Fund has required fishermen to make claims first on other insurance, if available. Data are recorded and coded for date of incident, nature and location of injury, location of fishing grounds, type of gear, and dollar value of claim. Data are recorded but not coded for fishery, are currently not maintained in an automated data base, and are not routinely published. Even though several thousand claims are submitted each year, the Fishermen's Fund does got provide a complete record of injuries occurring in the Alaska fishing industry, since its use is voluntary and, according to the fund administrator, many fishermen use other sources to pay for medical claims. Nevertheless, it provides useful information about injuries occurring in the Alaska commercial fishing industry. Hawaii/Southwest Pacific Region Fish landing data for this region are included in the PACFIN data but are based on an interview system and the port of offloading. The data are collected by the states and territories and provided to NMFS.

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