The NFFO has launched a research project to better understand what fishermen want and need from a PFD. During February and March, it will be running face to face workshops in Newlyn and Grimsby, as well as a short online survey. The aim is to create new PFDs that are better suited to fishing operations, designed by fishermen. The project has received funding from The Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust.

Charles Blyth, the NFFO’s risk, safety and training lead, explained: “We want to talk to a range of fishermen with different types of fishing operations, and ask about issues they’ve experienced while wearing PFDs. We want to find out about the good and the bad features of current PFDs being worn, and ideas for improvement.

“We want to write a new set of specifications for manufacturers, with the ultimate aim of producing a new and improved range of lifejackets which will be suitable for people working in fishing.

“I meet a lot of fishermen every week, and I hear about a wide range of common issues encountered – not just comfort and wearability, but other defects which people tell me are happening regularly, such as involuntary inflation of some jackets and a short lifespan before needing repair or replacement.”

The workshops are taking place in Newlyn on 22 February and Grimsby on 11 March. Fishermen will be asked to take part in a one-hour afternoon or early evening session for an open conversation around what they like or dislike about current PFD designs, and how they could be improved.

If you would like to attend a workshop, please email: All workshop participants will receive a £40 cash thank-you. If you can’t attend a workshop but would like to offer your experience and opinions, please complete the five-minute online survey here. All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win £100.

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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