Million £ spend to improve UK fishing safety

Million £ spend to improve fishing safety UK Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani is making £1 million available towards safety in the fishing industry. Photo: Nusrat Ghani

Almost £1 million in Government funding will be spent cutting deaths in the UK’s most dangerous industry, according to Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani.

The announcement was made during a meeting with safety experts and coastal MPs that an additional £700,000 will be provided to give more fishermen potentially lifesaving training. 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 1st July.

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

The Department for Transport will also work with Seafish Industry Authority to deliver more than 500 personal floatation devices fitted with locator beacons, worth a total of £250,000.

Last year there were six fishing fatalities, either through people falling overboard or due to issues affecting the stability of vessels.

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

“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.”

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 23rd, 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 15 metres 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.

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