Three new Codes of practice come into force on Monday 23 October, which will improve safety for everyone in the fishing industry, says the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
All three Codes have been developed with the help of the Fishing Industry Safety group (which includes Fishing Federations, Seafish, the Shipbuilders and Shiprepairers Association and the Fishermen’s Mission).
Each Code has been designed to improve safety through the introduction of new safety requirements, adopting technological developments and addressing recommendations from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
They include holding monthly emergency drills, liferafts for specific vessels, the fitting of radar reflectors and bilge alarms, as well as fitting of carbon monoxide monitors, EPIRBs and personal locator beacons with built-in GPS. David Fenner from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) said: “We have worked hard with all those connected with the fishing industry on these Codes. This is all about reducing the risk of serious accidents and deaths. Even one death is one too many.
“The new requirements for liferafts, EPIRBs and Personal Locator Beacons are being phased in so if your vessel is already registered as a fishing vessel, you will have until 23 October 2019 to comply. This will allow you to apply for funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to claim back up to 60% of the cost.
“However, vessels registering as fishing vessels for the first time, or re-registering after an absence of six months or more, on or after 23 October this year, must comply with all the requirements of the Code immediately.”
Derek Cardno from Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) said: “Industry has welcomed the opportunity to be involved in the new fishing codes. Although the new Codes will provide challenges for some fishermen to be compliant, the safety of the industry will improve.”
Robert Greenwood from National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO) said: “By listening and working with the industry the MCA have developed the new Codes in a practical and meaningful way. We hope this will lead not only to more people surviving accidents but also, and more importantly, to far fewer accidents too.”