Marine Safety, Training and Welfare is very much focused and centred around fishermen — their personal safety, training requirements and supporting their welfare needs.
Creating and maintaining a safe space to work on is key for a fisherman’s safety and long-term wellbeing. While maintaining the ethos of “fishermen first”, SFF’s three main areas are distinct but very much joined up:
A fisherman’s working platform (fishing vessel) regardless of its size is a moving object, thus is inherently more difficult to complete tasks on. Fishing vessels are regulated and inspected by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Working with the regulator, it is critical for SFF so that any proposed changes to fishing vessels are sensible, viable and will actually achieve the desired outcome to make fishermen’s workplaces safer.
Training is more than just attending a course. As individuals, we all learn in different ways. Training has to be accessible for all fishermen and SFF plays a key role to ensure adequate funding is in place that will allow individuals to do the training that they feel will enhance their safety and skills.
For many years SFF has appreciated that fishermen’s welfare and wellbeing goes a long way towards the fishing industry being a safer and more successful industry to work in. Studies have shown that individuals who operate in the workplace while having challenges in their personal space are more likely to have an accident. Thus, SFF engages tirelessly with welfare charities to ensure fishermen’s needs are met regardless of the circumstance.
Since its inception, SFF has played a key part in the UK Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG).
This group is made up of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and industry bodies and creates a safe place to debate all aspects of fishing safety. One of the recent key workstreams of this group has been Home and Dry — a dedicated website that provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ for fishermen to find information on all things related to safety and training. The FISG partners manage the website for the benefit of all UK fishermen. For up to date guidance with helpful videos, templates, etc. please visit the Home and Dry website.
Another organisation that SFF works closely with — especially around fishermen’s training — is Seafish. Their dedicated team not only provides individual assistance to fishermen but also plays a huge role in supporting the wider UK network that provides training opportunities to fishermen. For information on the services Seafish can assist with, please visit the Seafish website.
Sadly, despite an ongoing focus on safety, welfare and training, accidents and fatalities do still occur in our fishing industry. Over the last 10 years, however, huge strides have been made to improve all aspects of fishing safety. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is an organisation that SFF remains committed to working with to help us learn from accidents and incidents. The MAIB provides in-depth reports of accidents that it investigates and these reports can be accessed from the MAIB website.
The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation is focused on:
Promoting and protecting the collective interests of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation constituent associations.
Supporting production of healthy and sustainable wild-caught seafood, ensuring a sustainable future for the industry and our marine environment.
Advancing the reputation of fishing by championing responsible practice in meeting a growing demand for healthy, climate-smart food.
Improving fishing safety through supporting and promoting professional standards of training and compliance with safety standards.
Showing fishing as a positive career choice – one with a viable and positive future.