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Science & Technology

OSU researchers to help make the 'deadliest catch' less deadly

Brian Bull

Crabbing is Oregon’s most lucrative – and dangerous – fishing market.  Now a federal grant aims to make the work safer.

Nearly $900,000 from the Occupational Safety and Health Department will fund research by Oregon State University faculty.

Credit Photo provided by Laurel Kincl. / OSU
Laurel Kincl (top) and Jay Kim (bottom) are two OSU researchers working to make crab fishing less strenuous and safer through an $895k federal grant.

Laurel Kincl is an associate professor who’s been in touch with crab fishermen as part of the research.

"A lot of strains and sprains, and a lot of fractures from the handling of the gear," Kincl told KLCC. "So that’s why we ask fishermen what can be done to help improve productivity but also improve their safety.” 

Jay Kim is an assistant professor with OSU’s Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics Lab.  He says the focus is how a winch device called the block, and sorting tables affect crab fisherman over time.

“Including their body postures, repetition, as well as an estimated joint-torque-synch compressive forces on their spine and individual joints.”

The federal grant is for three years' research.

Annual crab harvests across Oregon net between $33-75 million.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

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