The Seafarers Charity’s project to develop safety management onboard fishing vessels to the standard of the Fishing Safety Management Code is well underway, with an initial 50 vessels in the South West of England having signed up.

The new service, called Fishing First Safety Management System by SafetyFolder, is being developed to improve safety in the UK fishing fleet and, at the same time, increase supply chain transparency.

The project has been launched in the South West of England, and the first 50 fishing vessels to join the project are now receiving professional support to develop their safety management practices.

Auditors from the new service will be visiting the vessels and working with the owners and skippers taking part in the scheme to support them in demonstrating compliance with the ILO C 188 Work in Fishing Convention by meeting the requirements of the Fishing Safety Management Code (MGN 596F).

The 50 vessels have been selected from a range of different vessel types and sizes. They are spread across locations in the South West including South Devon, North Devon and Cornwall.

Vessel owners participating in the trial will receive a set of four binders to help them keep paper copies of key documents organised. They will also have the ability to make online updates.

Sarah Ready, a vessel owner from Brixham who has joined the project, said: “I shore-manage four different family company boats, and what I have seen over the years is how much more paperwork and bureaucracy there is now for my business to meet all the safety and health requirements.

“I hope this will help me organise this work in one place and make sure it is all properly documented and compliant with the regulations.”

SafetyFolder director Robert Greenwood said: “Vessels have been keen to take part in the project because owners want the benefit of a service which will help them organise the paperwork and the workload required to manage compliance with modern fishing regulations.

“The new Fishing First Safety Management service will give owners professional and customised support to complete a fully auditable safety management system for their vessel. Documentation is to the standard of the Fishing Safety Management Code (MGN 596 F) and will comply with ILO C 188.”

Consultant auditor Nigel Blazeby said: “I’ll be one of the auditors who will visit owners on their vessel and work closely with them to get their safety management system completed. Every boat is different, and we have a customised approach which matches the level of risk appropriate to each vessel.

“I’ll be looking at hardware and equipment onboard, but I’ll also be working with owners and skippers to make sure there are safe working practices onboard, and how to get all these systems recorded and documented correctly to meet the legal requirements.”

See below a video giving more information about the new project…

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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