Opening Reception and Poster Session

Sunday, June 10, 5:00pm-7:00pm, Lower Atrium, Bruneau Building

The opening reception/poster session event will be held in the Lower Atrium of the Bruneau Building from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Poster presenters will be available for discussion
and questions during this time. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available for delegates. This event is sponsored by Fishing Partnership Support Services.

Poster Abstracts:

P1.  Survey on hygiene inspection policies – Despensa Andrioti, University of Southern Denmark; Mouchtouri Barbara and Christos Hadjichristodoulou, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece; Anastasia Barbouni, Nikolaos Bitsolas, Johanna Maria Broekhuijsen, Miguel Davila-Cornejo, Martin Dirksen-Fischer, Rita Maria Ferrelli, Andreas Gilsdorf, Irene Goverse, Brigita Kairiene, Antonis Kantonis, Galina Kokosharova, Elina Kostara, Jenny Kourea-Kremastinou, Leonidas Kourentis, Angel Kunchev, Audrone Lavruvianec, Peter Otorepec, Rimantas Jonas Pilipavicius, Martina Pilkova, George Rachiotis, Persa Tserkezou, Carmen Varela Martinez, Natalja Võzelevskaja, the SHIPSAN ACT Partnership

 The SHIPSAN ACT is a European Joint Action funded by the European Commission under the Health Programme (2008-2013) where 32 partners from 24 European countries participate. The aim is to strengthen an integrated strategy and sustainable mechanisms for safeguarding the health of travelers and crew of passenger and cargo ships and prevent the cross-border spread of diseases.

Methods & Materials: A range of methods were used, including: literature review, table top and operational exercises, surveys and questionnaires, site visits, training, inspections, working group meetings and development of guidance documents

Results: A state of the art report was composed including the results of: literature review for describing scientific evidence on communicable diseases affecting people on any type of ships or at ports; a survey on hygiene inspection practices regarding fishing vessels; survey on training needs related to core capacities at the points of entry-ports; and survey on the practices and responsibilities of port health authorities along inland waterways. Guidelines for dealing with chemical and radiological incidents on ships and training material, risk assessment guidelines as well as a risk assessment tool for occupational health risks per cargo ship type in place. A  pool of 83 trainers from 20 countries was created. The web-based Communication Network, since its developments, it has been used by competent authorities in EUMS to follow up 19 public health events on ships involving 1677 cases of communicable diseases (gastroenteritis, varicella, legionellosis, measles, dengue, meningitis and tuberculosis). The Information System for recording/issuing IHR Ship Sanitation Certificates has been used to issue more than 5,000 certificates.

Conclusions: EU SHIPSAN ACT helps countries to preparedness planning and to develop IHR core capacities. Furthermore, it strengthens the EU’s capacity to monitor and respond to health threats by facilitating rapid information exchange using web-based tools, while the risk assessment guidelines and tool contribute to the health and safety of the seafarers and the environment


P2.  Navigating Health Insurance and Services with Members of the Fishing Community – Gretchen Biesecker and Lauren King, Fishing Partnership Support Services (See poster).

Fishing Partnership Support Services (FPSS) serves commercial fishing workers and their families. Our innovative community-health-worker model employs Navigators, who live in the community and come from fishing families. In 2016, we received the Community Health Worker Program of the Year award from the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers. Our Navigators integrate services that are meaningful and relevant to the fishing industry, including assistance with health insurance and access to care, safety and survival trainings, as well as financial planning and wellness workshops, with the goal of enhancing the health of fishermen and their families. Our Navigators partner with health centers and healthcare providers, trauma counselors, universities, boat captains, the Coast Guard, and community leaders to develop and evolve programming and leverage community assets.

In this presentation, we will focus on best practices in our community health work, highlighting:

  1. Combining trust and training, including some of the key skills for Navigators;
  2. Creative methods to engage hard-to-reach members of the fishing community.
  • FPSS has supported over 19,000 fishing families throughout New England with health insurance. Because many fishermen lack a regular source of care, FPSS helps consumers shop for and maintain coverage, access a primary care doctor, and understand their health coverage. Trained and trusted, they provide peer listening, social support, and linkages to mental health services. For instance, in New Bedford, MA, a Navigator serves as a trained peer recovery coach, helping to address the opioid crisis.
  • FPSS’s outreach strategy depends on repeated contacts with consumers, who often carry suspicions of government requirements. Because of this challenge, our Navigators deliver much of their outreach where fishermen live and work: on the docks, at trade shows, at industry meetings, at other fishing events they attend, such as safety trainings. We look forward to learning more about other organizations’ approaches.

P3.  Acceptance and use of mobile appsMaria Bulzacchelli and Chris Nelson, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Jennifer Whitehill, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Leigh McCue, naval engineer and app developer; Jerry Dzugan, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association

Commercial fishing workers face numerous hazards. Smartphone technology provides opportunities for developing innovative safety interventions to prevent commercial fishing fatalities from vessel disasters and falls overboard. Two mobile apps have been developed to bring potentially life-saving tools into the hands of any fishing vessel operator with a suitable smartphone or tablet. The Small Craft Motion Program (SCraMP) app provides real-time vessel motion monitoring data, giving the captain early warning of vessel instability and allowing corrective actions to be taken before capsizing occurs. The Fishing Vessel Drills (FVdrills) app is designed to facilitate conducting safety drills by providing drill checklists, dynamic drill scenarios, electronic logs, and reminders. While such apps hold enormous potential, they will only improve safety if they are accepted and used by fishing vessel operators. Little is known about mobile technology use in this population. An assessment of the SCraMP and FVdrills apps is being conducted among commercial fishing vessel captains operating out of ports in the Northeastern United States to determine their acceptability, utility, and effect on safety practices during actual commercial fishing operations. This presentation will introduce the SCraMP and FVdrills apps and discuss the methodological challenges encountered in designing and carrying out this study.

P4.  Short-term and Long-term Methods and Procedures for the Reduction of Hazardous Noise Exposures on Newfoundland and Labrador Small Fishing VesselsGiorgio Burella, Lorenzo Moro, and Barbara Neis, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Fish harvesting has always been one of the main sources of employment in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, counting more than 9,200 registered fish harvesters in recent years. This profession exposes the workers to several health and safety hazards, one of which is noise-induced hearing loss and other forms of impairment caused by ongoing noise exposure. High noise levels can also make it difficult to recover from fatigue when fish harvesters are not able to rest in quiet quarters onboard. Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Newfoundland and Labrador Fish Harvesting Safety Association (NL-FHSA) are undertaking a joint research project funded by MITACS aiming to assess noise exposures and develop short and long term solutions to reduce noise exposures among fish harvesters engaged in different fisheries. This poster will report on findings from the first phase of this initiative. In this phase, we are seeking to develop short term solutions by first conducting surveys on-board at least 20 vessels as the basis for a cross-sectional study on noise exposures for different fisheries and vessel sizes. To date, we have sampled noise exposures associated with the cod, lobster, crab and whelk fisheries. The noise exposure of the fish harvesters has been measured, and the influence of the tasks, vessel size, and equipment on noise levels has been characterized. Results show that fisheries that use pots have higher noise levels, compared to those that use types of gear. The researchers plan to sample noise associated with shrimp, mackerel, crab, herring, capelin and possibly squid fisheries this coming spring. Following up the measurements, some of the participants will be asked to try different kind of hearing protection to identify which one is the best for the use during fishing activities. A second phase will involve the development of engineering short-term (for existing vessels) and long-term (design practice on new vessels) solutions to mitigate the noise exposure on-board the fishing vessels. One of these vessels will be selected as case-study, on which the noise transmission will be studied. This will highlight flaws in the noise insulation and provide effective means to reduce noise. Preliminary results on the development of the noise transmission model and preliminary noise mitigation means will also be presented in the poster.

P5.  Online survey on occupational hazards from Brazilian AquacultureLissandra Souto Cavalli and Flavielle Blanco Marquesa, Department of Agricultural Diagnosis and Research, Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (See poster).

An online research survey was conducted to identify occupational hazards, risk assessment and prevention measures used in aquaculture in Brazil. Data were collected through an online questionnaire with 25 questions that could be answered voluntarily and anonymously. The study covered 108 professionals including students, workers, researchers and farmers. The profile of respondants was 72% men and 40% of people were between 25-35 years old. The results showed that 52% of the participants never received any type of training. Even so, 71.3% of respondents reported that they never suffered any type of accident during aquaculture activities. Similarly, 89% of professionals said they were aware of occupational hazards in work activities. Thus, 54% of respondents reported that they use good safety practices to protect their health or their team. The study pointed out that 50.5% of the interviewees use PPE, but 33.9% only use sometimes. Regarding hazard signaling, 77% said that there is no hazard map or risk signage in the workplace. The survey showed that 57.4% of the interviewees work in places where risk assessment programs were not implemented.  Half of those interviewed reported that their workplaces dispose of waste appropriately and 64.8% stated that they discard cutting material in suitable containers. Research has shown that 42.8% of staff are not trained in emergency or first aid situations.  In this study it was possible to identify situations such as the lack of signaling of hazards in the workplace and lack of training and training in OHS. The results point out that risk management can be a fragile point in development countries. Aquaculture farmers should be encouraged to adopt measures and technologies to eliminate risks in Brazilian aquaculture.

P6.  Put Down the Pen and Pick up the Tablet: Using App based Auditing and Data Collection to Increase Awareness and AccountabilityR. Alan Davis, American Seafoods Company; John Dunn, Glacier Fish Company (See poster).

Traditionally Safety Professionals and Scientists head into the field with a checklist and a pen to observe and collect data. We follow our checklists and generate piles of paper to be entered into some usable format at a later date. Safety Researchers have long encouraged organizations to make more frequents audits and regular observations of people’s behavior with the idea that these efforts will result in earlier detection and correction of situations that could result in accidents but we are faced with the challenge that vessels operating at sea are not going to do a lot of data entry and getting piles of paper delivered to our desks months late minimizes the ability to detect issues and trends. What IF there was a way for vessel operators or researchers to conduct audits at sea or in remote locations using a mobile device? What IF there were a way that each Audit could be uploaded into a cloud-based system that could not only upload the data, but could also help track action items AND track who is… and is not… doing their Audits? The process has evolved into a much more intricate system now that ties in leading and lagging indicators, injury reporting, risk assessment levels, position, and annual inspection requirements as well as flagging repeat high-risk items. Such systems exist in normal industry today and several commercial fishing companies operating in Alaska have set out to take their Safety Audits out of the file box and into the cloud. As access to technology expands and the world gets smaller and smaller, how might we all be able to use Mobile Devices to conduct Audits, Collect Data, Provide Training, and increase efficiency?

P7.  Mortality in Commercial Fishing: A Proportionate Mortality Ratio Analysis of Two Fishing Ports in MassachusettsScott Fulmer and Shruti Jain, University of Massachusetts Lowell (See poster).

As commercial fishing in the US has been the subject of study to better understand occupationally-related fatality rates for the development of surveillance to track geographical and fishery-specific differences in fatality rates, most prior occupational health studies in commercial fishing in the US have focused on occupational events, rather than on all causes mortality. There have been a few studies that examined occupational disease causality among fishermen, but these have tended to be European or Canadian, and have not used data from the US fisheries.

More recently, in the United States, there has been attention to opioids in the general population, and the fishing industry, in particular. In Massachusetts, for example, naloxone use has been introduced into commercial fishing safety trainings, as well as a few community-based prevention projects aimed to understand and reduce opioid and other drug abuse among commercial fishing industry workers in Massachusetts. Some researchers have attempted to quantify the contribution of occupational exposures to opioid-related fatalities, a very important pathway that assumes exposure to risk for non-fatal injury leading to use of prescription opioids, then to addiction and death by overdose.

This study examined all-cause mortality of commercial fishermen in two Massachusetts communities, 2000-2014, to determine whether there are diseases or causes, including suicide, liver disease, overdose to opioids, or specific cancers, that occur at a higher-than-expected rate in this occupational group. Death certificate data, obtained from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, listing deaths from the fishing ports of Gloucester and New Bedford, Massachusetts, were grouped into fishermen and non-fishermen, and matched by place or residence of death, month of death, and age at death. Proportional mortality rates were examined to determine whether specific causes were higher among fishermen than expected from the non-fishermen data.

P8.  Maritime health research in Latin America – a literature reviewOlaf Jensen, University of Southern Denmark & IMHA-Research; Elpida Frantzeskou, University of Athens, Greece; M. Luisa Canals, University of Cadiz, Spain and IMHA-Research; Despena Andrioti, University of Southern Denmark and IMHA-Research (Presentation Slides).

Background: So far the maritime health and safety research for seafarers and fishermen mainly comes from the industrial developed countries with sparse contributions from the developing countries. The aim was to give an overview of the peer reviewed research in Latin America to point out the needs for maritime health research in this part of the world.

Materials and Methods: PubMed, Google Scholar, SciELO – Scientific Electronic Library Online, Pan American Journal of Public Health, Medicina Maritima and other relevant journals in Latin America in the Spanish and English languages were searched.

Results: 57 peer-reviewed articles only on fishermen´s health and safety were eligible and included. There were none for seafarers and none for fatal accidents in fishing and seafaring Brazil counted for the main part n =39, while each of the other countries had 0-4 studies. The study objectives include occupational injuries, divers disease, skin diseases, hearing loss and other issues. The cross-sectional studies include especially ergonomic problems and environmental pollution. Studies on fatal accidents are absent in fishing and seafaring as well.

Conclusions: Most of the studies are concern with health problems, like in other parts of the world, while some health problems are specifically related to the tropic areas. More studies are needed on seafaring and fishing for the prevention of health risks among fishermen and seafarers in Latin America.

P9.  Establishing Standards for Observer SafetyDale Jones, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service

Fisheries observers face a very challenging set of work place conditions.  While working alongside people engaged in commercial fishing, one of the world’s most hazardous occupations, they are subject to the same or comparable threats to their health, safety and welfare.  Observers may also work within somewhat isolated or hostile environments.  Maintaining a comprehensive, credible and reliable set of standards for observer safety is paramount to assuring that everything that can be done is being done to promote the highest possible level of safety for and by them.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) works in collaboration with a number of observer service providers to assure adequate coverage needed to meet the regulatory requirements for approximately 40 domestic commercial fisheries.   NMFS observer coverage requirements generate the staffing need for as many as 900 fisheries observers and nearly 74,000 annual observer sea days.  In addition to staffing for U.S. domestic fisheries, NMFS is party to at least 6 international conventions and treaties with international observers deployed in non-U.S. fisheries in the international forum.

NMFS is very concerned about assuring that we identify and implement viable approaches to enhancing and establishing the highest level of standards for observer health and safety. To assure that we are able to meet these expectations, NMFS has taken on the challenge of updating and improving the established national observer safety practices and guidelines.  The result will be the creation of a more comprehensive and standardized set of safety measures within the parameters of observer training, communications, equipping, reporting, fitness (medical and physical), staffing and other related areas.

The management related areas of planning, policy development, regulatory actions and contracted service provisions may also greatly and positively influence the actions that contribute to assuring the delivery of a safer outcome for observers.  The assessment of other factors associated with each fishery, in terms of its international, national and regional characteristics, such as cultural influences or unique fishery specific practices and conditions, are also important factors that will be considered.

This presentation will provide an overview of the various safety considerations and categories that NMFS has identified and is incorporating into its set of Observer Safety Standards.  It will also include comment on the approach to “self-assessment” that NMFS is implementing for its various observer programs and on some of the approaches taken to get to this point.

P10.  Seafood Worker Health and Safety Surveillance in Gulf Coast Communities – Andrew Kane, Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety and University of Florida; Robert Durborow, Kentucky State University; Melvin Myers, Emory University (See poster).

Surveillance studies with Gulf coast fishers, crabbers, shrimpers, and oyster and clam harvesters are underway to identify risk factors associated with fatal and non-fatal injuries where the majority of workers are self-employed and uninsured. Community partnerships highlight the importance of engaging with seafood workers to implement an in-person questionnaire tool supplemented with workplace observations on harvesting and fishing vessels. Falls overboard and winch injuries are associated with many of the fatalities and severe injuries reported. Musculoskeletal injuries, cuts and lacerations, bites, spine punctures, and heat and sun exposure are also concerns for these workers. Conditions associated with unstable work platforms in harsh settings, coupled with declining fisheries – related in part to climate and environmental change – appear to increase risk of onboard incidents, drug use and mental health issues. Surveillance data will guide the development of interventions and outreach tools to support Gulf coast seafood worker health and safety.

P11.  Safety Effects of Property Rights Contract Changes: Evidence from Field Experience in Fisheries Akbar Marvasti, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

I measure the effect of contract changes on selected fishery resources in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). I apply the difference-in-difference approach to commercial fishery panel data. My cross-sectional units use the red snapper and grouper-tilefish fisheries as treatment groups and the shrimp fishery as the control group. The results show that the grouper-tilefish individual fishing quota has improved commercial fishing safety in the GOM. The lack of an effect from the red snapper individual fishing quota program seems to be due to interrelatedness and economies of scope stemming from the multispecies nature of reef fish fishery in the GOM.

P12.  Stakeholders to the quality of future accident reporting from fisheries and aquaculture – Edgar McGuinnes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Fisheries and aquaculture are dangerous professional callings, yet despite almost ubiquitous recognition of this, we still actively learn, know or understand very little regarding their accident occurrences. The majority of current injury statistics arising from sparse details recorded in self-completed reporting forms. These basic formats ultimately determine the extent of our accident understanding; the parameters to be probed; and the extent of preventative learning. These question formats having been adopted some time distant, have failed to progress with time or investigative methodologies, are ineffectual, insufficiently detailed orientated, and incapable of capturing the range of conditions for recording knowledge for posterity. Leaving international maritime accident learning rooted in a traditional, poorly conceived approach to minimal recording and management of data.

As such, the paucity of current knowledge and accident understandings, presents a significant barrier to the prevention of accident reoccurrences. This knowledge purports the development of a future orientated, format for fisheries accidents application, rationalization of content, and promotion of additional research topics, to extend learning potential. However, such an approach must balance the requirements of the various stakeholders to the reporting system from governmental outputs to fisher’s input requirements. It must also balance the desires of researchers for supporting information about the content, context and influences affecting fisheries accidents with the knowledge, skills and abilities of those reporting to provide it. This work therefore looks to identify the specific requirements of each party and to temper that which is required from that which could be beneficial to know moving forward.

P13.  Commercial Fishermen Safety in Uncertain Times: Insights from Interviews of the Northeast Multi-Species Groundfish FishermenTammy Murphy and Maria Vasta, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service

Commercial fishing is among the most dangerous occupations in the US; its annual fatality rate consistently exceeds the national average. The Northeast Groundfish Trawl fleet suffered the highest fatality rate from 2005-2014 of all federally managed fleets in the region. Marked changes have occurred in the groundfish fishery since the implementation of Amendment 16 to the fishery’s Federal Management Plan (FMP) in May 2010. The 2006 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act required the implementation of Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures in the fishery. At the same time, the primary management framework for the fishery moved from the effort control based Days at Sea system to catch share management, which allocates fishing quota to entities called sectors. Sectors are groups of fishing vessels that receive Annual Catch Entitlements (quota) for 10 of 13 groundfish species in the FMP and are exempt from many of the traditional effort controls. Vessels that are not enrolled in sectors are in the “common pool” and each is constrained by traditional effort measures designated in the FMP.

The transition to sector management and quota changes for key groundfish species have coincided with a number of compositional changes and decreasing socio-economic performance for the fishery. Some groundfish permits holders have stopped actively fishing and instead lease out their harvest shares, some have switched target species, some have expanded their portfolios to include other fisheries, and some have exited the fishery industry altogether.

From June 2013-September 2014, sixty-three interviews were conducted in person with groundfish fishery participants in several New England ports to better understand the factors influencing the decision to cease or continue actively fishing for groundfish. This poster presents some findings from these interviews, focusing on safety-related factors that contributed to fishermen’s decision to transition out of the active groundfish fishery.

P14.  Unintended consequences of observer coverage on fishing safety on the West Coast – Lisa Pfeiffer, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service

Policy not directly intended to affect fishing safety can have unforeseen consequences. One example is in the West Coast Groundfish Trawl fishery, where a catch share program implemented in 2011 required 100% observer coverage. The companies providing the observers bill on a 24-hour time clock, starting at midnight. This incentivized midnight departures, especially as a subsidy intended to ease the transition to 100% observer coverage decreased. We demonstrate that there are some West Coast ports where departing port at ideal tide conditions is important, and that the billing policies of the observer companies have increase the propensity for fishermen to leave port at less-than-ideal port conditions. We find that smaller vessels, which pay a larger percentage of their revenue for observer coverage, are more affected than larger vessels. These smaller vessels are also expected to be more vulnerable to dangerous tide conditions and bar crosssings.

P15.  Women-guardians of Health and Wellness:  Scenes from Haiyan in the Philippines Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, University of the Philippines Visayas and UPV Tacloban College

The study locale is the coastal municipality of Tanauan, province of Leyte, Philippines which was worst hit by supertyphoon Haiyan on November 2013. It identified the health-related roles of women fishers; determined the constraints and facilitators in the access to and delivery of health and wellness services during the rescue and relief phases after disaster; and heard/documented the voices of women fishers who took care of the family’s and community’s health needs. It also generated elements of a disaster-readiness and response plan of action for health wellness based on the women fishers’ lived Haiyan experiences. Key Informant Interviews, Focus Group Discussions, and Psychological First Aid Sessions were conducted. Data was analyzed from the standpoint of women fishers who survived Haiyan. Various women fishers’ roles were identified: nursing mothers feeding others’ babies, mother substitutes for dead/missing parents, women leaders in the village (barangay), community women health workers, women prayer leaders, single moms in extended families, and others. Medical/health concerns attended to by the women fishers included the lack of safe drinking water, deteriorating environmental sanitation, mental health problems, and poor state of evacuation centers. Access and delivery of health and wellness services faced constraints such as unpassable roads, absence of electricity, damaged health facilities, and poor coordination of response units. There were, however, facilitators like early response, presence of international organizations, strong leadership in fishing villages, and cooperation led by women fisher-leaders. Based on evidences generated from the fishing communities, the elements of a community-based health service disaster management plan are identified. These included: accurate and timely information, responsive evacuation center, pre-arranged pooling of resources or agreements for resource sharing, enhanced skills of fishers, and coordination among preselected food hubs/health stations/relief centers. Moreover, it was observed that Haiyan strengthened the voluntarism, altruism, and others-centeredness among survivors, as displayed by the women fishers.

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