50 vessels join the Fishing Safety Management Project

The Seafarers’ Charity has reported that the project to develop safety management onboard fishing vessels to the standard of the Fishing Safety Management (FSM) code is well underway. 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.

Fifty fishing vessels have joined the project, which started in the south west of England. The vessels are 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 ILO C 188 Work In Fishing Convention by meeting the requirements of the Fishing Safety Management Code (MGN 596F).

The project has 50 vessels taking part which have been selected from a range of different vessel types and sizes. They are spread across locations in the south west including South Devon, Cornwall & North Devon. The map and table below provide more detail about the location and range of vessels taking part in the project.

Vessel owners participating in the trial will receive a set of four binders to keep organised with paper copies of key documents as well as the ability to make online updates. 

Sarah Ready, a vessel owner from Brixham, has joined the project. She says: “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.”

Robert Greenwood, director at the SafetyFolder says: “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 legislation; ILO C 188.”

Nigel Blazeby is one of the consultant auditors working on the project. “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,” he says. “Every boat is different and we have a customised approach that 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 on board and how to get all these systems recorded and documented correctly to meet the legal requirements.”

The Seafarers’ Charity, along with the SafetyFolder, launched the project in Brixham in November 2021. This short film explains how this new project will make a difference to fishing safety.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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