Following the success last year of a film designed to help inshore fishermen prepare for MCA safety code inspections, The Seafarer’s Charity has provided funds to make three new short films for all fishermen on different aspects of safe fishing operations.

The three films – on looking after lifting gear, working safely in enclosed spaces, and stability issues for small vessels – were filmed on a wide variety of UK fishing vessels, from rod and line day-boats through to scallopers, stern trawlers and state of the art pelagic vessels. The vessels were selected to make the safety messages within the films directly relatable to fishermen from all sectors of the industry.

Launching the films on The Seafarers’ YouTube Channel, chief executive Deborah Layde said: “The Seafarers’ Charity funds a range of initiatives to improve fishing safety. Funding for the new films is a direct result of the new partnership which sees The Seafarers’ Charity and NFFO utilising their specialist skills and resources for the broader benefit of the commercial fishing sector.

“The FISH SAFE films cover key safety issues, and most of the fishers we talk to have told us they use the video format to get information. We want to share them as widely as possible for anyone working in fishing to benefit from.”

Charles Blyth, NFFO risk, safety and training lead, told FN: “As always, the primary objective of the films is to help people to keep themselves safe at sea. We’ve tried to provide three short and digestible films that will not only manage this, but will also help fishermen negotiate the minefield of the various safety regulations, and support them to comply with these.”

Derek Cardno, safety officer with the SFF, who is also featured in the videos, said: “The fishing industry in the UK is renowned for innovation and finding solutions to difficult situations.

“The initiative to create these short videos was to help fishermen better understand legal requirements, and hopefully stimulate debate around fishing safety. The SFF and I are delighted to support Charles in this NFFO/The Seafarers’ Charity project.

“Going forward, we have other ideas for short videos, but we are open to hear from fishermen who feel a short video on a particular topic would support them to keep their crews and vessels safe.”

Safety consultant Nigel Blazeby, who also supported the making of the films, added: “The NFFO takes reducing risk for fishermen very seriously. All of our families want their loved ones to come home safely from their trips. The only people who can make the fishing industry safe are those within the industry itself. Hopefully these videos will go some way to helping to do that.”

On a separate note, Charles Blyth has just participated in a new edition of the Fathom podcast, discussing issues around the new requirements for medical certification of fishing crew with a representative of the MCA.

Chaired as ever by Cornish FPO chief executive Chris Ranford, the episode is expected to be be released shortly, and will be available, along with previous episodes here.

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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