Fisheries contribute to income and employment with particular importance in coastal communities in developing countries. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that fisheries support directly or indirectly around 820 million people. Employment in the fisheries sector has grown faster than the world’s population and faster than employment in traditional agriculture with an estimation of 60 million people involved.
While the positive contribution of fishing to the world economy is well-known, the human costs of fishing are much less known. It has been widely documented that fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations. In 2017, Lloyds Register Foundation published the Insight Report on Global Safety Challenges. This showed unacceptably high injury and fatality rates in the commercial fishing industry. Estimates showed that 24,000 fishermen lose their lives every year, and most of these losses take place in developing countries. The reasons for the injuries and fatalities differ among developed and developing countries. When it comes to developing countries, the causes are often lack of regulations, use of unseaworthy vessels, as well as lack of safety culture and equipment.
In response to this, the FISH Safety Foundation, New Zealand, has established a cooperation with the Centre of Maritime Health and Society (CMSS), University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Patuakhali University, Bangladesh, about a structural assistance programme to raise safety standards and practice in South and Southeast Asia. The plan is to start in Bangladesh and then expand the programme to the Philippines and Indonesia in the years to come.
The objectives are to strengthen safety culture and awareness by actively engaging in educating and empowering fishing organisations, communities and individuals. The aim is to measurably improve fishermen’s safety standards, practices and outcomes.
Creation of practical training material on safety issues matching the needs of the local communities. This will be used to train several trainers who will afterwards implement the training to the participating fishermen.
- A public awareness campaign will communicate safe practice and the importance /implications of safety.
- Re-fish invite the fishing stakeholders globally to re-cycle their gear by donating it to the local communities.
The change in safety culture and practice will be measured against the benchmark in a reduction of 20% in vessel losses, and a 25% reduction in crew fatalities, serious injuries and ill-health by December 2025.
Eric Holliday, CEO, FISH Safety Foundation New Zealand, Project manager of fishSAFE2025 Bangladesh
Senior researcher Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, PhD, Centre of Maritime Health and Society SDU
Senior researcher Olaf Chresten Jensen, MD, Centre of Maritime Health and Society, SDU
Associate Professor Sazedul Hoque, PhD, Dept. of Fisheries Technology, Faculty of Fisheries, Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh
Associate Professor Emeritus Kate Pike, PhD, Solent University, Southampton, Director of Field-Research
October 2019 - December 2020
The project is co-financed by The Lloyd’s Register Foundation