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Marine safety, training and personnel are important SFF policy threads. The Marine Safety, Training and Personnel sub-committee provides guidance in these areas. Current work streams include:

  • Onboard support to members who wish assistance to create a safety management system for their vessel. click here for more information.
  • Co-operating with the MCA through the Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG) on several projects
  • Working with Seafish to provide a better training service for the fishing industry
  • Establishing a Maritime Modern Apprenticeship in sea fishing for Scotland
  • Liaising with several bodies to smooth the introduction of electronic logbooks
  • Responding to the proposed reorganisation of the UK coastguard service

Safety issues presently on the FISG agenda include:

  • The proposed introduction of Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’S) for fishermen while working on deck
  • Stability for small fishing vessels
  • Changes to the LOLER and PUWER regulations
  • Risk assessments for fishing vessels and how to improve them

For further information on FISG and its sub groups click here.

On fishermen’s training, the SFF has taken the lead with Marine Scotland to develop a Maritime Modern Apprenticeship (MMA) for Fishermen. This apprenticeship will create a structure for school leavers to start a career in the fishing industry and have a clearly marked and funded pathway. Please see the following links to press release announcing this scheme (Scottish Government Press Release) and the Framework Document (Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing).

In addition, the Federation is working closely with the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) to update fishermen's training courses. At the moment we are working together to update the mandatory courses for fishermen. For further information on Seafish click here.

For the long-term health of the Scottish fishing industry it is necessary to attract local new entrants – tomorrow’s skippers, leaders and managers of the industry. This is, and will remain, the industry’s aspiration. However, there is presently a shortage of local recruits and multinational crewing is common. With this in mind, the SFF introduced a Code of Practice for Non-EEA Crew in 2008. To download a copy of the Code of Practice click here.

A number of proposed future work streams have been identified which include:

  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) 188 convention provides many challenges for the Scottish and other international fishing industries. The convention seeks to introduce many changes, for example the end to ‘share fishing’, and limiting the working hours that a fishermen can work.
  • The SFF takes the view that even now the safety of fishermen can be improved and accidents reduced. Our focus is on providing more and better training courses for fishermen to attend. Our belief is that more regulation will not in itself save lives but that quality training will.

The initiatives of the SFF Marine Safety Training and Personnel sub-committee include the commissioning of a video on good practice while creel fishing single-handedly. Please click below to view.


Property of Scottish Fishermens Federation. No unauthorised broadcasting permitted.



We would welcome your feedback on this section. Comments should be sent to:

Derek Cardno
Marine Safety Officer

Scottish Fishermen's Federation
24 Rubislaw Terrace
AB10 1 XE

Tel: 01224 646944
Fax: 01224 647058
Mob: 07545 429314


Latest News

4 May 2016

The following article by Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, appeared in The Scotsman on 4 May 2016

Fishing is so very important to Scotland and one of our country’s greatest renewable natural resources. When the oil and gas has gone, we will still have fish in the sea and a fundamental keystone in ensuring our nation’s food security plus a sound pillar to underpin economic growth.

Fishing for the Truth

Fishing for the Truth