Social Protection for Fisheries and Aquaculture (SocPro4Fish)

SocPro4Fish Updates | Health and safety in the dive fisheries


Welcome to socpro4fish's September updates. This edition focuses on the world of diving and in particular the WECAFC region. Through blogs, stories and publications we look at the health and safety issues facing divers and how social protection can protect and support them and their families. 


Protecting Lives and Improving Livelihoods: Enhancing Social Protection through Occupational Health and Safety in WECAFC's Dive Fisheries 

Divers from the WECAFC region come in all profiles, nationalities, and ages. In Honduras and Nicaragua, most of an estimated total of 9,000 divers are Miskitos, an Indigenous People living along the eastern coast of the two countries. In large part, divers are male with ages ranging from 15 to 60. All face occupational health and safety issues and vulnerabilities due to their work. READ THE BLOG 


Safer and more sustainable lobster fishing in Nicaragua 

Find out how Nicaraguan and Mexican fishers came together to share knowledge and help make lobstering in Nicaragua safer and more sustainable. READ THE STORY 


To ensure adequate occupational health and safety, as well as decent labor conditions for divers, and to align with the recommendations of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), it is crucial that member countries prioritize these issues on the agendas of both WECAFC members and countries that import products from dive fishing. 

Collaborative efforts must focus on improving access to social protection programs adapted to the specific needs and realities faced by divers. More work needs to be done to ensure fishers can and do register so that they can access these vital social protection programs. By addressing these urgent concerns, we can create a safer and more sustainable environment for WECAFC divers, improving their livelihoods while preserving the invaluable marine resources on which they depend. READ THE FULL REPORTWATCH THE VIDEO 


These occupational health and safety concerns align with FAO-ILO (International Labor Organization) Decent Employment Agenda. They are emphasized in the SSF guidelines, which stress the importance of promoting health, safety, and social security protection for small-scale fisheries workers. Furthermore, the safety and social protection measures being implemented also reflect the principles outlined in FAO's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, specifically Article 8, which calls for effective management to ensure the safety of fishers and fishing vessels, as well as Articles 29 to 39 of ILO Convention C188 on Work in Fishing and more recently FAO “Reference guidelines to legislate or regulate diving in artisanal or small-scale fishing in the Latin American and Caribbean region”. 


Safer and more sustainable capture techniques

Learn how FAO's partnership with Nicaragua has revolutionized lobster fisheries by improving safety, sustainability and export values. Learn how new techniques have reduced accidents by 40% and supported conservation in the Miskita areas. READ THE ARTICLE