Key findings

  • One hundred sixty-five fishermen died along the East Coast from 2000-2009. That's more than anywhere else in the United States, including Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard, which regulates fishing vessels, does not have "broad authority" to inspect the boats — only "little bits and pieces of authority," according to a former U.S. House of Representatives staffer who helped write safety laws.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 requires the Coast Cuard to inspect fishing vessels' safety equipment every two years. The law does not requre dockside inspections of the boats themselves.