• £1m Government investment in fishing safety
  • Free training and hundreds of new life vests for those working in the UK’s most dangerous industry
  • Part of the first Maritime Safety Week, run by the Department for Transport

Almost £1 million in Government funding will be spent cutting deaths in fishing which is the UK’s most dangerous industry, it was announced yesterday afternoon (Wednesday July 3).

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani announced during a meeting with safety experts and coastal MPs that an additional £700,000 will be provided to give more fishermen potentially lifesaving training.

This is on top of an existing £250,000, which is matched by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The Department for Transport will also work with the Seafish Industry Authority to deliver more than 500 personal flotation devices fitted with locator beacons, worth a total of £250,000, to help find people who have fallen overboard – the most common reason for fatalities at sea.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Fishing remains the most dangerous industry in the UK, and so we must keep working to reduce the risks crew members face.

“We want to eliminate all preventable deaths by 2027, and the extra training and better equipment I’m announcing today will mean fewer fishermen getting into danger at sea.”

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 Monday July 1.

The department will also be working with Trinity House and Seafish to promote fishing safety through a targeted radio campaign.

Since 2008, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has spent £2.75million to deliver more than 25,000 free safety training sessions to fishermen.

From October 23, 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 16.5 metres to hold a Skipper’s Certificate as well as to implement a new Code of Practice for fishing vessels under 15m 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.