The UK’s Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani has announced the deployment of £700,000 (€781,162) in funding to boost UK fishing safety.
The funding, announced as part of the second annual Maritime Safety Week, will go towards providing comprehensive safety training for the UK’s extensive fishing fleet. Increasing UK fishing safety – six fatalities occurred on fishing vessels in the UK in 2018 – is a key tenet of the Maritime Safety Action Plan released earlier this week; and the Department for Transport is producing a targeted radio campaign aimed at promoting safety measures on fishing vessels in partnership with shipping safeguarding charity Trinity House and seafood industry NGO the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish). The Department for Transport has also partnered with Seafish in a £250,000 (€278,705) project which will provide more than 500 personal flotation devices equipped with locator beacons, designed to aid in search and rescue of sailors who have fallen overboard.
Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Fishing remains the most dangerous industry in the UK, and so we must keep working to reduce the risks crew members face. We want to eliminate all preventable deaths by 2027; and the extra training and better equipment I’m announcing today will mean fewer fishing crews getting into danger at sea.”
The government has implemented a number of regulations in the last year to support UK fishing safety, including compelling fishing crew members to wear personal flotation devices where the risk of falling overboard cannot be wholly eliminated; and further regulations are set to be introduced in 2019 and 2020. After 23 October 2019, all small fishing vessels must either be fitted with an emergency beacon or provide personal location beacons to all crew members; while the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is working towards a safety certification scheme for skippers of small vessels, as well as a code of practice to be in place by 2020.