About safety for fishermen

Safety for Fishermen is a project website developed under the FAO project "Safety at sea for small-scale fisheries in developing countries" (GCP-GLO-200-MUL).  

FAO estimates that roughly 30 million fishers are working aboard 4 million fishing vessels operating in capture fisheries, 1.3 million decked and 2.7 million undecked vessels. About 98% of these vessels are below 24 metres in length, and not covered adequately by international rules and regulations. It seems plausible that the fatality rate in countries for which information is not available might be higher than those that supply statistical information. Thus, the number of global fatalities might be considerably higher than the figure of 24,000 deaths world-wide per year estimated by ILO in 1999.

Measures to improve safety can only be truly effective where the motivation to apply them exists. To establish and maintain such a culture of safety is a never-ending task that demands the participation of the fishermen themselves and their families, the boat-owners, the legislators and the community at large. There are many examples of individuals interested in safety at sea who formed fishermen self-help groups or other NGOs and established a fruitful cooperation with the authorities to promote safety in their communities.

In those countries where appropriate regulations, enforcement and training are in place, there has been a measurable (though not always significant) reduction in the annual number of fatalities over the last 15 years. Although these countries account for less than five percent of the world's fishers, they demonstrate that results are achievable. Recognition of the issue of safety at sea as a major and continuing problem is the first step towards its mitigation. It is considered that responsibility for safety at sea should be borne by both administrators and fishermen, and similarly that effort and assistance is shared between those two groups to ensure an effective partnership enabling a safer profession.

As part of its extensive work in the field of fishermen's safety, FAO has developed this web community to facilitate the information distribution.  

FAO Disclaimer

This website is developed during the course of the FAO project GCP/GLO/200/MUL, Safety at sea for small scale fisheries in developing countries. 

The conclusions and recommendations given on this website are those considered appropriate at the time of its preparation. They may be modified in the light of further knowledge gained at subsequent stages.

The designations employed and the presentation of material on this website do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in preference to others of similar nature that are not mentioned.

The views expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflects the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


last updated:  Monday, October 15, 2018