New safety codes introduced for fishing vessels

FISHING BOAT PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

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Three new codes of practice came into force this week which aim to improve safety for everyone in the fishing industry.

All three codes have been developed with the help of the Fishing Industry Safety group, which includes fishing federations, Seafish, the Shipbuilders’ and Shiprepairers’ Association and the Fishermen’s Mission.

Each code has been designed to improve safety through the introduction of new safety requirements, adopting technological developments and addressing recommendations from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

They include holding monthly emergency drills, liferafts for specific vessels, fitting radar reflectors and bilge alarms, carbon monoxide monitors, EPIRBs and personal locator beacons with built-in GPS.

David Fenner from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said: ‘This is all about reducing the risk of serious accidents and deaths. The new requirements for liferafts, EPIRBs and personal locator beacons are being phased in so if your vessel is already registered as a fishing vessel, you will have until October 23, 2019, to comply. This will allow you to apply for funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to claim back up to 60 per cent of the cost.

‘Vessels registering as fishing vessels for the first time, or re-registering after an absence of six months or more, on or after October 23 this year, must comply with all the requirements of the code immediately.’

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