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Safety at sea as an integral part of fisheries management
Petursdottir, G.; Hannibalsson, O.; Turner, J.M.M. (2001). Safety at sea as an integral part of fisheries management. FAO Fisheries Circular = FAO, Circulaire sur les pêches, 966. FAO: Rome. 39 pp.
Part of: FAO Fisheries Circular = FAO, Circulaire sur les pêches. FAO: Rome. ISSN 0429-9329, more


Authors  Top 
  • Petursdottir, G.
  • Hannibalsson, O.
  • Turner, J.M.M.

    Fishing has always been, and continues to be a dangerous occupation. While risk will always be an inherent part of fishing, measures to reduce risks at sea have had some success, particularly in the technologically advanced parts of the world. Nevertheless, fishing still holds the record as the most dangerous occupation pursued by man. One of the basic obstacles to improved safety is the fact that, in most places, safety measures have been carried out on a voluntary basis. Regulations covering the construction and equipment of larger vessels generally exempt vessels under 24m and in most countries safety education and training are still not obligatory. In this paper it is argued that safety at sea should be integrated into the general management of the fisheries in each country. The global fisheries situation has changed dramatically in recent years. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which came into force in 1994, states not only the rights, but also the obligations of coastal states to manage their 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). Thus it is to be expected that coastal nations will take measures accordingly over the coming years. This will open the way for regulations ensuring the safety and well-being of the fishermen, as well as sustainable utilization of the fishstocks. The industrialized countries have spent decades trying to improve safety at sea on a voluntary basis. There is now general consensus amongst safety promoters that obligatory safety training is the prerequisite for any success. Linking safety requirements to fishing permits for example, is a practical way of overcoming the lack of motivation that has been a barrier to improved safety at sea for fishermen for so long. Safety at sea is a very serious problem in the developing countries. It is likely that many developing nations will seek external advice in planning the management of fisheries in their EEZ. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has many years of experience in providing expert advice and assistance for fisheries in the developing countries and developing an extensive network of local expertise. It is particularly well placed to provide assistance for improved fishermen's safety in the fields of data collection and analysis, training, education and the development of regulations, and will advocate a holistic approach to fisheries management with safety at sea as an integral part of the management regime.

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