This study investigates the impact of noise levels on fishermen working on small vessels in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Despite fishing being a key industry in the area, there has been little research on how noise levels affect the hearing of those involved. The study found that fishermen are often exposed to harmful levels of noise without even realizing it, which puts them at risk for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
The researchers went on board 12 small fishing vessels to measure noise levels and interviewed the skippers to gauge their awareness about this issue. The results were alarming—most fishermen were unaware that they were being exposed to potentially harmful noise levels during their work. Certain activities on the boat were identified as particularly noisy.
Based on these findings, the study suggests a few key steps for improvement:
- Use of proper hearing protection devices.
- Re-designing the boat structure to reduce noise.
- Educating fishermen about the risks of high noise levels and how to protect themselves.
The hope is that these recommendations will guide policy changes and practical actions that can protect the hearing of fishermen and enhance the overall safety conditions on small fishing vessels.