Improving Fishing Safety in Newfoundland and Labrador

Commercial fishing is an important part of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) with approximately 8700 registered fish harvesters in 2014. Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations. The Newfoundland and Labrador Fishing Vessel Safety Association (NL-FVSA) has identified extreme weather events, noise and dynamic stability as three major hazards in the <65 foot fleets. MITACS interns will work with harvesters and the NL-FVSA to carry out research and design education and training tools designed to reduce exposures to each of these hazards. One intern, Ph.D. student James Shewmake, will answer the question: what are climate-related sources of risk in the occupation of fishing as informed by stakeholder and key informant observations and perceptions and what kinds of initiatives are needed to address these risks? A second intern will carry out research designed to provide NL harvesters with accurate, accessible, clear information regarding short-term and long-term noise exposures and strategies to eliminate the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) on-board small fishing vessels by carrying out a thorough review of the literature, measuring noise exposures on board a sample of vessels and develop methods and strategies for mitigation of noise.

Faculty Supervisor:

Barb Neis


James Shewmake


Newfoundland and Labrador Fish Harvesting Safety Association




Information and communications technologies


Memorial University of Newfoundland



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