State/National/WorldFish Rap

NIOSH & U.S. Coast Guard Announce 2023 Funding for Commercial Fishing Safety Research and Training is Now Available

On Nov. 14, the CDC announced that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, has the availability of $6 million in outside grant funding for commercial fishing safety research and training in 2023.

Commercial fishing is a high-risk occupation. Conducting research and critical safety training are opportunities to improve the health and safety of the workers. The grants, available in the fiscal year 2023 and supported and administered by NIOSH, will provide funding to qualified individuals in academia, members of non-profit organizations, municipalities, and businesses involved in the fishing and maritime industries.

“Working in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, this grant program has supported researchers and trainers in the last four years who strive to make a difference in the lives of commercial fisherman and their families,” said Jennifer M. Lincoln, Ph.D., associate director of NIOSH’s Office of Agriculture (Forestry and Fishing) Safety and Health in the press release. “These projects have had a direct impact on safety in various regions and fisheries around the country — if you haven’t thought about applying for this funding yet, now is the time!”

According to the press release, commercial fishing remains a dangerous occupation in the United States, indicated by hazardous working conditions, strenuous labor, long work hours, and severe weather conditions. In addition, the hazards fishermen encounter vary widely by the type of fishing vessel and fishery in which they participate, including the gear used to catch seafood. Therefore, safety research and training that addresses what works best in a specific fleet and/or region is critical to help prevent injury or death among U.S. fishermen.

Currently, grantee training work focuses on training fishermen in safety measures, developing first aid and training materials, and community-based “train the trainer” efforts with varying degrees of reach. Research agreements include:

  • Assessing the suite of electronics available for fishing vessels that could save lives when emergencies occur at sea.
  • Improving equipment to reduce musculoskeletal injuries and falls overboard.
  • Analyzing how sleep deprivation affects health and cognitive abilities.

“These grants directly improve the lives and safety of those working in the maritime industry where applicants reflect the diversity of the fishing industry and clearly outline a path to enhance safety within commercial fishing nationally,” said Joseph Myers, chief of the Coast Guard’s Fishing Vessel Safety Division in the press release. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with NIOSH as these efforts directly support the Coast Guard’s mission to promote a safe environment in the commercial fishing industry.”

The Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety Research Cooperative Agreement and the Training Project Grants will provide up to 75 percent of an organization’s costs, with a maximum of $975 thousand per grant over three years.

Interested applicants can find the latest funding opportunities on the NIOSH Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety Research and Training Program website.

The application deadline for both funding opportunities, research, and training is Jan. 31, 2023.

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