Fishing Safety


FAO has been supporting the fisheries sector with safety training materials and practical training courses for the last few decades. In collaboration with competent agencies, training institutions, fisherfolk organizations and IMO and ILO, fishing safety training has been delivered in many FAO member countries.

FAO’s fishing safety training and related awareness raising efforts have focused on small-scale fishers in developing countries. Most of the training materials developed by FAO and partners were made for pre-sea safety training and refresher courses. It is however recognized that on-board risk awareness, training and instructions are also key components of a proper fishing safety training. 

Training materials for large scale fishing vessels of 24 metres in length or above have been developed with IMO and ILO and some are available under Resources and Guidelines and Codes in this Web site.

In recent years, FAO and the Bay of Bengal Programme – Intergovernmental Organization (BOBP-IGO) have developed a set of small-scale fisheries training materials, including a manual in several languages, and various posters.

Photo credit: ©FAO/Leuaina Hatier

The materials on safety for small-scale fishers include a range of subjects, such as:

General safety: deck safety, guards and ladders, fire safety, ventilation, lighting, ropes and wires handling and international maritime signal flags, having spare parts on board, checking of the vessel and equipment conditions, emergency first aid, maintenance and simple repairs of outboard engines and effective communication and navigation.

Personal safety: safety and health of crew, precautions against falling overboard, use of lifesaving apparatus, and specific guidance on dive fishing safety.

Photo credit: ©FAO/Leuaina Hatier

Stability of small-scale vessels: maintaining vessel stability.

Survival at sea: how to act in case of engine failure, use of life jackets and life rafts and floats, hazards of cold exposure, hypothermia, immersion foot, sunburns, salt water boils and sores, bodily functions, dehydration, delirium and mental disturbance and hygiene matters.