Original source: A UN agency reported on Monday that fishing at sea is the most dangerous job in the world.

The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said that around 24,000 people die every year out of a total of about 15 million workers engaged in full-time marine fishing.

The death rate is higher than the average rate for other dangerous jobs such as quarrying, logging and coal mining.

The FAO blamed cost-cutting and the poor quality of many fishing vessels.

FAO fishing expert Jeremy Turner said: ‘The main cause of loss of life is typically the loss of the boat – when you lose a boat, you lose a large number if not all of the crew. Other reasons are collisions and explosions.’

He said that crew reductions, lack of training, bad weather and fatigue also play a role.

The most dangerous fisheries are located in the north-eastern Pacific Ocean, the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea.

Fishing and aquaculture supplied about 110 million tons of fish globally in 2006, with China, Peru and the US the top producers.

A 2003 UN International Labour Organisation estimate put the number of work-related deaths worldwide at two million per year.