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Measures in prevention of accidents in fishing in the Nordic countries (ViFAFiN)

CMSS has initiated a new Nordic collaborative project. The project focuses on the remarkable positive development in the incidence of accidents in the Nordic fishing industry aimed at what works.



In 2000 there were many serious accidents on fishing vessels in the North. Fifteen years later, we see an abrupt decline in accidents, and not many occupations can show the same progress. In Nordic research, on accidents within the fishing industry, we do know some about the development of safety, accidents and health. We have assumptions as to what causes the positive changes in occupational accidents, but exact knowledge of what has worked in fishery is still sparse.


The aim of the project is to examine the historical background for the reduced rate of accidents, the actions taken and the instruments used for preventing accidents in the fishing industry in the Nordic countries. In particular, the intention is to gain insight into and knowledge about the specific preventive measures that have worked and proved successful.


The study is based on a combination of past research and experience from projects on safety, health and environment in the fleet, records, register data and historical concrete actions taken by authorities and institutions in the respective Nordic countries. Furthermore, the findings are supplemented with interviews and dialogue meetings with fishermen in order to accumulate knowledge and experience about what works in regard to preventing occupational injuries in the fishery. Based on shared dialogue and quality assessment in the research group, a final report will be produced, including recommendations for national and international dissemination of the results.


Participating institutions

The project is a Nordic collaborative project between Centre of Maritime Health and Society, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg and researchers from Finland, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.



The project is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers Labour Market Committee


January 2016 – December 2016



The project is executed by:


Jørgen Møller Christiansen, senior researcher, Center of Maritime Health and Society, SDU and Helle Østergaard, research assistant, Center of Maritime Health and Society, SDU.

Kim Kaustell, MSc (Agr.), research scientist, Luke Naturresursinstitutet, Helsinki, in cooperation with Risto H.I. Rautiainen, Professor, special research scientist, Luke Naturresursinstitutet, Helsinki.

Trine Thorvaldsen, PhD student, SINTEF Fiskeri og havbruk AS, Trondheim.

Kristinn Tómasson, MD, MSc, Medical director, Dept. of Occupational Medicine, Administration for Occupational Safety and Health

The Faroe Islands:
Annbjørg Selma á Høvdanum, MSc, The Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health, the Faroe Islands

Download the ViFaFiN report  in full: Prevention of accidents at work in Nordic fisheries

Last Updated 20.10.2023