EU partners call for improved safety at sea

23 Sep 2014

European Social Partners in the fisheries sector (Europêche, Cogeca and ETF) are calling on the European Union to “attach urgency to the policy area of safety at sea in fishing”, which they say is lacking.

In a letter to the Union, the Partners outlined how the recently reformed common fisheries policy focuses on planet and profit sustainability in the sector, but “wrongs” the fishermen where their safety at sea is concerned.

“All our efforts to bring the Union’s social policies in line with international standards on training and certification of fishers and decent living and working conditions on board fishing vessels, which form part of the international safety at sea in fishing agenda, have been frustrated by reluctance from the side of the Union’s responsible institutions,” they said.

“In doing so, the Union not only forsakes its responsibilities towards fishers, it also forsakes its statutory task to promote the role of its social partners and to facilitate social dialogue,” the letter added.

The international community, the Partners say, are now insisting that fisheries policies be aligned with policies on safety at sea and health and safety onboard fishing vessels. While safety for sea in shipping is accounted for, safety for sea is fishing is neglected, say the Partners.

As a result, a paper has been put together to highlight this and the community is now calling for the President of the European Commission’s intervention to ensure effective coordination, ensure consistency between measures concerning employment, income, safe manning of fishing vessels and decent living and working conditions onboard.  

The Sectorial Social Dialogue Committee – Sea Fisheries is now awaiting the Union’s reply. A copy of the paper is available here.

Links to related companies and recent articles ...

European Commission

view more