UK Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani has announced that almost £1 million in government funding is to be routed to improving safety in UK fishing.
There were six fatalities in the fishing industry in 2018, either through losses overboard or related to vessel stability.
During a meeting with safety experts and coastal MPs Nusrat Ghani confirmed that an additional £700,000 will be provided to give more crews potentially life-saving training. This is on top of an existing £250,000 pot, which is matched by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
The Department for Transport will also work with Seafish Industry Authority to deliver more than 500 personal floatation devices fitted with locator beacons, worth a total of £250,000.
‘We want to eliminate all preventable deaths by 2027, and the extra training and better equipment I’m announcing today will mean fewer fishing crews getting into danger at sea,’ Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said, commenting that increasing safety on fishing vessels is one of the priorities of the Maritime Safety Action Plan, which was published by the Department for Transport on 1st July 2019.
Since 2008, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has spent £2.75 million to deliver more than 25,000 free safety training sessions to fishing crews.
From 23rd October 2019, all small fishing vessels will need to be fitted with an emergency beacon or have personal beacons for every member of crew to enable rescuers to find them.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is also looking, by 2020, to require skippers of vessels between 7 metres and 16.50 metres to hold a Skipper’s Certificate as well as to implement a new code of practice for fishing vessels under 15 metres which will include stability requirements.
Throughout the past year the UK has implemented new regulations to improve the living and working conditions on board fishing vessels. It also requires crew members to wear personal flotation devices if the risk of going overboard cannot be eliminated.