Welsh Fishermen to Tackle Safety at Sea Issues

30 September 2016, at 1:00am

WALES, UK - Seafish and the Welsh fishing industrys deep concern over fishing safety, and the high number of tragic deaths of fishermen at sea this year, has led to a joint initiative to raise awareness and improve the safety of Welsh fishing vessels and fishermen whilst working at sea.

Regional fishermen’s associations in Wales are being invited to meet and discuss key health & safety issues facing the fleet and identify practical, workable solutions. The recent tragic loss of the Harvester off Milford Haven has emphasised the need for an industry wide response and it is hoped that the meeting may lead to the formation of an industry-lead Fishing Safety Committee, or Forum, that addresses safety issues on behalf of the Welsh fleet to achieve zero fishing-related deaths in Wales.

The first meeting of the fisherman’s associations to discuss fishing safety is due to take place on 4th October 2016 in Builth Wells. The meeting is being facilitated by Seafish and will be chaired by Robert Greenwood, an independent safety consultant, safety officer for the NFFO in England, and creator of the free online ‘Safety Folder’ for fishing vessels.

Dr Holly Whiteley, Seafish Wales, said: “This is a great opportunity for the fishing industry in Wales to come together and have their voices heard in tackling this major issue. The recent MAIB statistics for the number of lives lost at sea this year is shocking. It is vital that our industry work together to find long term solutions so that we can make this tragic loss of life a thing of the past.”

Alongside this joint, industry-lead initiative addressing safety issues for the Welsh fleet, Seafish is also working with the RNLI and the Fishermen’s Mission to launch a collaborative Wales Fishing Safety project this winter.

This project will build upon Seafish UK’s ‘Sea You Home Safe’ campaign to raise awareness and further improve the safety of fishermen whilst working at sea.