[abstract]DIVING BEHAVIOR IN ARTISANAL FISHERMEN OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA

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[abstract]DIVING BEHAVIOR IN ARTISANAL FISHERMEN OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA

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Title: [abstract]DIVING BEHAVIOR IN ARTISANAL FISHERMEN OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
Author: Huchim-Lara O; Chin W; Salas S; Markovitz GM; Marcinkevicius M; Sprau SE; Fraga J
Abstract: INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND: Hookah diving systems have allowed fishermen to spend an indefinite amount of time underwater. This method of fishing increases decompression stress, injury and could lead to decompression sickness (DCS). More than one-third of the fishing population in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula has experienced DCS, qualifying this as an epidemic. We hypothesize that there may be a corre-lation between socioeconomic stresses, amount of fish caught, and risk of DCS. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fieldwork was conducted in two communities for the 2012-2013 fishing season. A sample size of six fishermen was randomly selected, and classified into three groups according to their fishing skills (two top, two intermediate, and two lowest percentiles). Sensus Ultra dive computers were used to record diving data from each fisherman, with a sampling interval of 10-30 seconds. RESULTS: A total of 52 fishing trips (120 dives) were recorded. The fishermen averaged 2.5 dives per day, an average depth of 47.2 FSW ±2.21, and an average total bottom time (TBT) of 95.12 minutes ±10.81. A total of 24 percent of all dives exceeded the no-decompression limit. Ascent rates were calculated for 319 ascents, revealing an average speed of 20.28 fsw/minute; 5 percent of ascents exceeded the recommended speed. Linear regression showed a correlation with amount caught (AC) to maximum depth (MD) (t=15.69 p less than 0.0000), TBT to AC (t=9.56 p less than 0.0000), and TBT to income (t=9.35 p less than 0.0000). All six subjects had skin DCS; three had musculoskeletal DCS. CONCLUSIONS: Fishermen exceeded recommended diving norms. We found positive correlations between AC and MD, TBT and AC, and TBT and income. Socioeconomic factors such as increasing market demands, scarcity of catch and financial stress may contribute to their high-risk diving behavior and decompression stress.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10860
Date: 2013

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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