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OSU Researchers Study Injuries Among Crabbers


While the commercial Dungeness crab fishery is the most valuable fishery in Oregon, it’s also a very dangerous occupation. As crab season finally gets underway, researchers at Oregon State University are studying non-fatal injuries among crab fishermen and women.

Laurel Kincl is an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at OSU. She says they’re gathering data on reported injuries and also collecting surveys of crab fishermen up and down the west coast.
Kincl: “What we’re hoping is that by helping the fishermen maybe understand what is going on on the entire fleet that then they can come up with some ideas on things that they could do maybe to prevent the injuries from happening in the first place. They do value their safety a lot and we hear a lot about what they are doing to stay safe.”
Initial findings in the ongoing study are published in the journal International Maritime Health. Researchers found the majority of crab fishing fatalities occur during vessel disasters, such as boats capsizing or sinking. Fractures were the most commonly reported injury.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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