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Commercial Fishing

SAFETY EQUIPMENT FOR SHETLAND INSHORE FLEET

Safety equipment for Shetland inshore fleet – The Shetland Fishermen’s Association has begun distributing safety equipment to its members in the inshore fleet.

It follows the award of a European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) grant towards the purchase of life rafts, lifejackets, EPIRBs (emergency position indicating radio beacons) and PLBs (personal locator beacons).

“The SFA takes the safety of its members very seriously, and while fishermen in the whitefish and pelagic sectors have this sort of equipment, it is less prevalent among those operating small boats less than 10m in length,” said SFA policy officer Sheila Keith.

“In all, 18 of our members are receiving a range of different items to enhance their safety at sea.

“This is the type of equipment that can locate and identify vessels and fishermen quickly in emergency situations.”

With more than 170 commercial fishing vessels in Shetland, with almost 1,000 local jobs in or linked to fishing and with more than £90 million worth of fish landed in 2011 (almost one quarter of the Scottish catch and one sixth of the UK catch), the industry is as vital as ever to the economy of the isles. It is estimated to account for around one-third of Shetland’s GDP.

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