Safety for fishermen - home

Fishing at sea is probably the most dangerous occupation in the world

Fishing at sea is probably the most dangerous occupation in the world. Over 32,000 fishermen die every year. More than 50% of the world's population lives within 60km of the coastline. Billions of people are depending on the scarce marine resources, they are depending on the fishermen and the fish that they bring home. A lost vessel and a lost fisherman have a vital impact on the coastal community.

Welcome to the Safety for Fishermen website, the gateway to information and material related to safety for fishermen. The website is hosted by FAO and managed by a selected group of experts contributing information and material on safety at sea in the fisheries sector.


 

News

SPC FAME’s Recent Initiatives

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. It is an international development organisation owned and governed by 26 country and territory members. Its unique organisation covers more than 20 sectors. It is renowned for knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience and conservation of plant genetic resources for food security.

As a key institution in the regional architecture of organisations supporting the Pacific, their programmes are designed to reflect the strategic direction set out in the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the regional priorities identified in the SAMOA Pathway (Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action) and the commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Some of SPC FAME’s recent initiatives are:

-“SPC Initiatives in Small-boat Sea Safety-Past, current and future” information paper 

-“SPC Initiatives in Small-boat Sea Safety” presentation

-“Cost–benefit analysis of the emergency ‘grab bag’ programme”

-An awareness-raising leaflet on the “The Emergency Grab Bag”

-Resource materials (part of a Certificate IV course in Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture Compliance): Inspections of Safety Gear and Maintenance of Electronic Surveillance Tools

For more information visit: https://www.spc.int/

"Safety in Our Nets" Project

It is a project set up by Uilapesca in 2015 in collaboration with Ital-Uil and the Inail department of occupational medicine. The aim was to find out to what extent the fishing profession is exposed to multiple high risks to health, starting by the biomechanical risks for the bones and joints.

"Safety in Our Nets" Video (Sicurezza nelle nostri rete)

For more information visit: http://www.uilapesca.eu/

SEAFDEC Safety Recommendations

The Training Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC/TD) aims to develop modern fishery technologies for the better use of marine fish resources and to reduce manpower shortages in marine capture fisheries in Southeast Asia. Please find relevant publications from SEAFDEC listed below:

Proceeding of the 1st Regional Workshop on Safety at Sea for Small Fishing Boats, 17-19 December 2003, Thailand

Report of the 2nd Regional Technical Workshop on Safety at Sea for Small Fishing Boat (20 – 23 April 2010)

Report of the 3rd Regional Technical Workshop on Safety at Sea and Optimizing Energy Use for Small Fishing Boats, 19-22 Dec. 2011, Thailand

Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less Than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels FAO/ILO/IMO (for Philippines)

Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less Than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels FAO/ILO/IMO (for Myanmar)

Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less Than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels FAO/ILO/IMO (for Indonesia)

Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less Than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels FAO/ILO/IMO (for Viet Nam)

Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less Than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels FAO/ILO/IMO (for Cambodia)

Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less Than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels FAO/ILO/IMO (for Malaysia)

Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less Than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels FAO/ILO/IMO (for Thai)

Recommendations on Safety at Sea for Small Fishing Boats in Southeast Asia (2003)

Recommendations of Safety at Sea for Small Fishing Boats in Southeast Asia (2010)

Summary of Discussions and Recommendations on Safety at Sea and Optimizing Energy Use for Small Fishing Boats (2011)

 For more information visit the SEAFDEC's Training Department website: http://www.seafdec.or.th/home/

ICSF recent work on Cyclone Ockhi
 
The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) published a monograph, report and video related to Cyclone Ockhi and Disaster Risk Management. ICSF is committed to influence national, regional and international decision-making processes in fisheries so that the importance of small-scale fisheries, fishworkers and fishing communities is duly recognized.
 
 

  
 
 

 
 
 
Low resolution film is available on YouTube
For more information visit: https://www.icsf.net/  
 
NIOSH Safety Recommendations
 
The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has categorized by hazard and geographic areas information about commercial fishing, which is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average. Since 1991, the NIOSH Western States Division (WSD) office in Alaska has conducted studies of fishing safety to reduce the incidence of injuries and fatalities among the nation’s fishermen. Their studies show that the greatest dangers to fishermen are vessel disasters, falls overboard, and machinery on deck. WSD continues to identify high-risk fisheries nationwide, make recommendations, and create targeted interventions to reduce risks. For more information about NIOSH Safety Recommendations for Fishermen, please visit the NIOSH Fishing Research website: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/fishing/ 

 

NIOSH Commercial Fishing Safety

Vessel Disasters

Vessel disasters, such as sinkings and capsizings, result in the highest number of fatalities in the fisheries sector. The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has researched the leading causes of vessel disasters, as well as the effectiveness of safety regulations and lifesaving equipment in surviving a vessel disaster. To learn more about preventing and surviving a vessel disaster, please visit NIOSH’s vessel disaster page.

Vessel disasters - Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Falls Overboard

The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has researched the leading causes of fatal falls overboard in the fishing sector and discovered that none of the victims over 17 years wore a personal flotation device (PFD) when they died. NIOSH has developed a safety success story video to highlight the importance of PFDs to survive a fall overboard. For more information about falls overboard and prevention, please visit the NIOSH falls overboard resource page.

 Falls Overboard - Photo credit: NIOSH

Deck Safety

Hazards such as mechanical equipment, confined spaces, high-tension lines, and slips, trips, and falls, are a leading cause of non-fatal injury in the fishing sector. The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has created training materials and engineering interventions to prevent on-deck injuries. For more information about deck safety hazards and interventions, visit the NIOSH deck safety page.

 Deck Safety - Photo credit: NIOSH

 

Fishing Safety Solutions

Through research and partnerships with industry, government, marine safety organizations and workers, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed fishing safety solutions to prevent injury and illness in the fisheries sector in the areas of epidemiologically-driven policy change, gear-specific engineering controls, and targeted health communication programs. NIOSH also has also extensively studied the use and attitudes towards personal flotation device (PFD) use in the fisheries sector. NIOSH’s Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) pagehas informative videos, fact sheets, and communication programs for use in the fishing sector.

Fishing Safety Solutions – Photo credit: NIOSH

 Despite advances in health and safety operations, fisheries remains a dangerous sector 

  
 
  
 
  
 

New publications and material

2 October 2018

Report of the National Workshop on Small-scale Fisheries, Cyclone Ockhi and Disaster Risk Management 29 to 30 May, 2018, Kerala, India

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2 October 2018

Cyclone Ockhi: Disaster Risk Management and Sea Safety in the Indian Marine Fisheries Sector by Manas Roshan, 2018

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18 March 2018

RESEARCH PROJECT 578 - Update of mortality for workers in the UK merchant shipping and fishing sectors

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Latest news from FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

last updated:  Wednesday, December 5, 2018