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August 24, 2023

Stonington nonprofit awarded $470K to improve safety training for fishermen

buildings on wharf COURTESY / MAINE CENTER FOR COASTAL FISHERIES The Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, on the working waterfront of downtown Stonington, will get $469,658 to improve safety training for fishery participants.

The Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, a Stonington nonprofit that works with community and fishery partners from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border, will receive $469,658 to expand and improve safety training and injury prevention programs for future New England fishermen.

The money will be allotted over three years from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety Research Cooperative Agreement and Training Project Grant Program.  

“The MCCF plays a pivotal role in bridging the gaps between fishermen and women, scientific insights and effective policy-making,” U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins said in a joint statement. 

The center is launching a plan aimed at enhancing safety in Maine fisheries. Plans call for the center to provide safety and survival training for 250 high school students, particularly in areas near commercial lobster fishing zones and with high poverty and unemployment rates, in Hancock, Washington and Knox counties.

The center also intends to train two additional qualified drill conductor instructors in eastern Maine and to deploy training materials.

The initiative aims to instill a culture of safety-conscious behavior, effectively reducing injury risks and ensuring a secure and sustainable future for Maine’s commercial fishing industry.

The center received Fishing Safety Research and Training Grants in 2019, the first time they became available.

Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S

For more than two decades, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has conducted studies of fishing safety to reduce the incidence of injuries and fatalities among the nation’s fishermen. NIOSH accomplishes safety and health research in maritime industries through the Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies, which is a virtual center that serves as a hub for intramural and extramural researchers.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. 

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