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FAO fishing safety awareness activities started in the Near East and North Africa Region

Cairo, Egypt (virtual) - Egypt, 05/07/2021 - 05/07/2021

A Virtual Event on Raising Awareness on basic measures to improve safety at sea for small-scale fishers was organized by FAO’s Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa (RNE) in close collaboration with the Fishing Technology and Operations Team (NFIFO) and the FISH Safety Foundation (FSF).

The participants of this virtual event were welcomed by Dr. AbdulHakim Elwaer, FAO Assistant Director- General and Regional Representative, who emphasized the importance of safety at sea. The meeting was attended by more than 60 participants from 14 countries. An introduction to safety and health issues in fisheries, with a focus on challenges for small-scale fishers, was presented by Dr. Eric Holliday of FSF. The most common types of accidents among fishers were discussed, such as capsizing vessels, sinking vessels, drifting vessels, collisions at sea, fire on board and occupational accidents. Attention was given also to occupational health problems common among fishers, such as cancers, musculoskeletal disorders, suicides, drug and alcohol addictions, eye disorders, allergies and hearing disorders. Risk based approaches to address these safety and health problems were provided and legislative and capacity building recommendations were made. Dr Raymon van Anrooy (NFIFO) summarized the main International Instruments to Promote Safety at Sea in Fisheries, as have been adopted by IMO, ILO and FAO, and explained why these conventions and agreements are important for the RNE countries.

The discussion on safety priorities was very lively and it was agreed that FAO would further assist the RNE region in the promotion of safety at sea in fisheries. The participants were made aware by Dr Lionel Dabbadie (FAO SNG) of the newly published manual on safety at sea for small-scale fishers in Arabic language (available at: http://www.fao.org/3/ca5772ar/ca5772ar.pdf ).

The virtual event was closed by Dr Ahmed AlMazrouai (FAO RNE) who offered to organize, in close collaboration with FSF a virtual train the trainer workshop on safety at sea for small-scale fishers in early November 2021. For more information, please contact: [email protected]