FAO in Sri Lanka

Train the Trainer Programme Equips Fisheries Officers and Ocean University Staff to Enhance Safety Practices Among Small-Scale Fishers


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) successfully conducted the Train the Trainer Programme: Safety at Sea for Small Scale Fishers. The training, held from May 22nd to 26th, aimed to provide the necessary skills and knowledge in fishing safety to fisheries officers and university staff who can subsequently provide safety training to the fishing community. The initiative is part of the global project on practical climate change adaptation funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and implemented by FAO. 

The training was facilitated by Mr. Darren Mitchell of the Fish Safety Foundation. A total of 25 participants, including 20 officers from the Department of Fisheries and five from the Ocean University, engaged in theoretical sessions and a practical demonstration at the Fish Landing site in Negombo. 

The five days of Train the Trainer training covered a wide range of topics such as effective learning methods, emergency preparedness, radio communication, safety risk management and boat basics, first aid at sea, and more. A session on building connections with the Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP) emphasized the importance of collaboration among sea safety trainers in the region. Local officers facilitated discussions and explanations in the participants' native language. 

This training initiative is just one step for Sri Lanka to begin dealing with the issue of safety at sea for small scale and artisanal fishers. The challenge is to now apply knowledge learned within local fishing communities to counter the many safety risks faced by fishers, with the overall aim of reducing harm suffered through injuries, illnesses, fatalities and loss of vessels or equipment at sea. A significant part of this will be assisting and working alongside local fishing communities to raise the awareness of key issues, with the overall aim of promoting a culture of safety at sea.  

The Department of Fisheries and the Ocean University of Sri Lanka expressed gratitude to FAO and all participants for their contributions to the programme's success.