Plan for safety and labour improvement developed

Fishing safety A committee is in the process of discussing possible ways to implement safety and labour-focussed International Conventions so far poorly ratified or not yet in force
Industry Database

Policy stakeholders have formulated an action plan to improve fishing industry safety and labour conditions.

Europêche and ETF, EU social partners in the fisheries sector, met with representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) together with the European Commission (EC) to discuss possible ways to implement at EU and international level key International Conventions so far poorly ratified or not yet in force.

Ment van der Zwan, employers’ group spokesperson, stated: “I am very pleased to see key international and European decision-makers actively engaging with the fishing industry to make fishing a safer and more sustainable industry. However, we cannot afford to lose momentum: it is time to go from words to action.”

Unratified legislation

For the sector, the most pressing legislation to be widely ratified and implemented at international level are the IMO Cape Town Agreement, the FAO’s Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) and the ILO Work in Fishing Convention C188.

In Europe, as a result of an agreement reached by the social partners, the ILO Work in Fishing Convention C188 has been transposed into EU legislation through a Directive.

The Cape Town Agreement has not come into force to date, despite the amendments made to it in 1993 and 2012. It is implemented in the EU acquis through Directive 97/70/EC.

Migrant fishers

The EC is now being urged to apply the same approach to the IMO International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F) and transpose it through a Directive.

The committee also referred to the good progress made at the ‘Tripartite Meeting on Issues Relating to Migrant Fishers’ organised by the ILO in Geneva last September.

As a follow-up of the conclusions and of the resolution adopted in Geneva, the EU social partners requested the EC to adopt enforcement provisions relating to the ILO C188 and to provide assistance to the UN agencies to produce guidelines on how to correctly recruit migrant fishers, on medical examination of fishers and for the implementing the occupational safety and health and accident prevention provisions set in the ILO C188.

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