UK’s fishermen urged to sign up to new safety code

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani

Fishermen across the country have been urged to sign up to a new safety code, in a bid to make careers at sea safer for the UK’s fishing community.

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani met with coastal MPs in the Houses of Parliament to discuss how the fishing industry can improve safety for its workers.

Representatives from the Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), Seafish and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency also attended the roundtable event.

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Fishing remains one of the most dangerous industries in the UK, with 43 people sadly losing their lives since 2012.

“A lot of work has already been done to encourage fishermen to be safer at sea and last year we saw the fewest fishing vessels lost ever, but more can be done.

“This meeting was very positive, with MPs promising to further promote the use of personal locator beacons by fishermen in their constituencies.”

A new safety management code aims to improve onboard safety by addressing the day-to-day risks that fishing involves.

Much has already been done in recent years to help the fishing industry become safer, including the provision of free personal flotation devices to fishermen, free training courses for the industry and new codes of practice and guidance to help avoid crew going overboard.

The Fishing Industry Safety Group has also developed a strategy to eliminate preventable deaths by 2027.

In addition, the FISG will promote the use of the ‘Safety management system’ to improve onboard safety, continue to encourage the use of funding for personal locator beacons and electronic position indicating radio beacons and develop stability standards for small fishing vessels.

It is hoped that this combined focus from key organisations with an interest in fishing safety and from MPs of coastal constituencies will make a real difference to the safety of fishermen at sea.