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Commercial Fishing



Seafood Cornwall Training survey on fishing safety. Seafood Cornwall Training (SCT) conducted a recent survey on fishing safety in a bid to find out what fishers and their families think will make fishing safer.

Of those who responded, more than 60% felt that not enough was being done to make fishing safer, reflecting the awful news that there have been eight deaths in the sector since November 2020.

Of those, however, 41% felt that there was now some good work being done. Funding for safety measures on vessels was considered the most helpful measure being taken right now, with safety training and awareness campaigns coming in second and third behind this. Better working conditions and then stricter regulations were also considered to be useful steps towards making fishing safer.

There was also the call for:

“Better safety campaigns; Training courses for assessing risks, with help filling out risk assessments; and helpful videos showing how to find risks.”

Calls for better working relationships with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency was also a common theme and interestingly it was felt that it would be very helpful to get fishermen as MCA surveyors and also around the table to give their views on what will improve safety. Also, the need to include real fishermen talking about safety in media awareness campaigns.

As one responder put it:

“Get fishermen to the table. There are too many professional meeting-goers who have no idea about what happens on fishing boats attending safety meetings. Focus more on fishermen who are coming forward with their own simple measures to improve safety on their own fishing boats. Highlight real experiences where fishers have been saved by wearing PFDs. Fishermen don’t like attending courses in a room, so get down to the harbour around the gallery table. We need fishermen at the forefront of safety campaigns.”

SCT will be passing these suggestions to the relevant authorities and says it will be working hard to make sure the suggestions are put into practice.