Safety implications in the derby type of fishery management were addressed. This type of management was alleged to cause fishers to take more risks such as fishing in bad weather, with a corresponding increase in vessel loss, injuries and deaths. Direct effects of increased risk taking included fishing in unsafe weather conditions, continuous work for long periods without rest, and overloading of boats. Indirect effects included the involvement of more small boats, less experienced fishers, and inadequate investment in safety gear. No statistical relationships have been drawn in safety surveys on derby management. This was partly due to difficulties in assessing the many possible contributing factors, in that a long chain of causes were present, and that all the factors were interdependent, making it difficult to statistically measure the importance of any given factor. Despite this absence of data and statistical analysis, it was possible to state clearly that more vessel losses, fatalities and injuries occurred in derby fisheries than in any other type of fishery management. The author concludes with an examination of why the system continues despite the disproportionate risks involved, and addresses the need for fishery managers to think more seriously about safety as a consideration in all decision making in the industry.
Proceedings of the National Fishing Industry Safety and Health Workshop, Anchorage, Alaska, October 9-11, 1992