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Deadline Approached for Seafish Training Scheme

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UK - Experienced fishermen have until 31 March 2011 to take advantage of funding towards the costs of training from Seafish, the Department for Transport and the European Fisheries Fund.

The funding is available for training towards a Seafish Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate or an MCA Deck or Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency.

The Seafish Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificate comprises short courses in Navigation, Engineering, Stability and GMDSS Radio Operation. The MCA plans to make this certificate mandatory for skippers of all commercial fishing vessels less than 16.5m.

In addition this certificate not only covers skippers of vessels less than 16.5m for fishing, but is also recognised by the MCA as transferable for use in other maritime industries. For example it is recognised by the MCA for use on small commercial vessels of less than 24m which carry cargo/and/or not more than 12 passengers and entitles the holder to become a watch keeper on any size fishing vessel. Full details and more information are contained in the MCA’s Marine Guidance Note No. 411, which can be downloaded from the MCA’s web-site at

Simon Potten, Safety Co-ordinator at Seafish, said, “The funding is only guaranteed until 31 March 2011, so I would urge any fisherman considering training to book themselves onto courses immediately.”

The funded training is only available to experienced fishermen with at least two year’s fishing experience and who have completed all the mandatory fishermen’s basic safety training courses. To-date, Seafish has issued over 1,000 Under 16.5m Skipper’s Certificates.

Book direct with one of the Seafish-approved training providers or call Seafish on 01472 252302 for further information.

In addition, grants of up to £1,000 are available for fishermen undertaking MCA Deck and Engineer Officer Certificates of Competency.

Administered by Seafish, the grants can be claimed against any eligible expenditure on training linked to these Certificates of Competency. If you are undertaking, or planning to undertake, a Certificate of Competency before 31 March 2011, apply now.

Application forms can be obtained from any Seafish-approved training provider or direct from Seafish.