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Arctic network for research and education in fisheries and seafood processing occupational health and safety

Fishing boats moored in a Newfoundland outport
View of Tromsø across the sound to the Arctic Cathedral and Mount Tromsdalstind.

At the Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety & Health Conference St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada June 10–13, 2018 Memorial University Campus it was proposed to have a session entitled “The needs for a Public Health program in fishing” with the aim to create a Nordic/Artic Network for research and development of health and safety in the Arctic fisheries with the following arguments: The conditions of work in the fisheries sector are arduous with high rates of occupational non-fatal and fatal accidents. Logically, the prevention activities up till now mainly focussed on accident prevention with little attention to the emerging chronic diseases, especially diabetes and cardiovascular diseases related to the specific risk factors. Several studies have shown that fishermen have a higher morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer than other occupations. The results are consistent with the causal explanations in studies about obesity and related health conditions also called the metabolic syndrome. The main risk factors include alcohol, fatty food consumption, smoking and lack of physical exercise. And the negative health effects are causally related the mentioned risk which in turn relate to the specific working conditions and culture in small-scale fishing. This needs to be taken into consideration in the prevention programs. According to the Luxembourg Declaration of June 2005, health promotion at the workplace is "the combined effect of employers, employees and society's efforts". From the international side, the WHO announced in February 2007 that health promotion is an integral part of the work environment work. The International Labor Organization (ILO) included health promotion as part of the work environment some 10 years ago. It is obvious to apply the land-based initiatives, for example, such as the KRAM (Food, Smoking, Alchohol and Physical movement) model to the fishing industry, based on the special conditions of the fishing industry. The overall goal of incorporating good habits in everyday life with regard to diet, smoking and physical activity applies to all areas of fishing like in the other areas of society. The general multifactorial causal model used as the theoretical model for health promotion needs to be adapted to the special working conditions in fishing to be effective. In conclusion, an international collaboration in research and development of health promotion programs in fishing seems to be highly needed. Especially as fishery is a relatively small commercial area in the countries, its important to have international collaboration. A good start could be to bring together the initiatives that are currently taking place in some countries, for mutual inspiration between many other countries to establish a program. Afterwords a “Blue-Jeans" conference was arranged by the participants from the Memorial University, St. Johns, Canada with participation of 18 researchers from 10 Nordic/Arctic countries. All participants agreed with the idea to form an Arctic health research group in fisheries and explained their expectations to the Network. Create Your Account to edit .

NEWS: The Arctic Circle Secretariat is now accepting proposals for Breakout Sessions at the Arctic Circle Assembly to be held October 10-13, 2019, in Reykjavík, Iceland. The Arctic Circle

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