That forces fishermen out in dangerous weather and keeps exhausted crews on the water. In Alaska, the season for halibut and crab has been, at times, reduced to just three days.
Even warm-water fishers face hazards. Wayne Magwood has shrimped the waters off South Carolina for 40 years and says the biggest danger is heavy machinery, such as the power winches and cables that haul nets and other equipment.
"My dad taught me to keep my shirt tucked in," says Magwood. "Your clothes can get tangled up and you can get pulled overboard. One guy broke his neck recently."
Magwood also lost a friend when the crewman was answering nature's call and a sudden roll pitched him into the water.
"We brought him up in the net," Magwood said.