The analysis and discussion of maritime accidents in the Spanish fishing sector


  • Alfredo Torné Reverté LECTURER
  • Antoni Isalgué Buxeda
  • Francesc Xavier Martínez de Osés



fishing, accidents, security


In recent years, we have studied the serious and very serious maritime accidents registered by the Spanish fishing sector in all its modalities and areas. In several cases, the results obtained are different from the hypotheses initially raised.

At a global level, the problem of fishing accidents is observed practically all over the world, regardless of the level of development and there are various theories about them, but it does not cease to surprise that maritime transport is one of the forms of transport with the lower ratio of accidents referred to the transport carried out, while in the fishing sector the accident rate is much higher than in other industrial or productive sectors.

Regarding the influence of the meteorological conditions, we observe that the maritime accidents of fishing boats in Spain occur mostly on theoretically good days, meteorologically speaking, in which the wind was very low, and the visibility was excellent, but the swell was considerable. On the other hand, the greatest number of accidents is concentrated on small vessels, in places very close to the coast, and in shallow depths. The combined effect of waves of considerable height, together with the decrease in the depth, causes them to rise, even more, this being one of the most determining factors of accidents in terms of the possibility of capsizing (overturning), which is the majority cause of accidents in small ships. Another significant fact is that mechanical causes are declared as affecting a very small number of accidents, which suggests that human error could be very present in the cause of accidents, especially on collision, boarding, and run aground accidents. Analysing the set of accidents, it can be seen that their typology is very varied, both at the level of the area, geographical location, modality, as well as the type of event and type of ship. All these facts make it difficult to think about the proposal and development of measures, besides the actual prescriptions, to avoid accidents, or to reduce the accident rate, which continues to be high and shows no signs of reducing when analysing the time series.