During the EU Maritime Day, May 2012 in Gothenburg, a number of representatives from the fishing industry expressed the need to achieve more coöperation between countries to ensure continuous improvement of the safety and health of fishers. This led to a first meeting of the Fishing Industry’s Safety and Health Platform (FISH Platform) in September 2012 in Riga, Latvia.

The Fishing Industry Safety and Health (FISH) Platform is now the world leading group of experts involved in safety and health in the fishing industry. The group of representatives from workers, employers, governments, training institutes and fisheries schools has participants from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States and is reaching out to Southeast Asia.

The most notable outcome of the FISH Platform is the compilation of a FISH Platform syllabus on the general objectives for IMO STCW-F Basic Safety Training for All Fishing Vessel Personnel. 80% of the FISH Platform syllabus has been incorporated in Chapter III of the STCW-F during its comprehensive review at recent IMO HTW subcommittee meetings.

In addition to this achievement, within the FISH Platform the experts have worked on important developments such as the safety management system ‘The Safety Folder’ and a lead auditor course for the Fishing Safety Management Code. All developments taking place in the field of safety and health are shared during the FISH Platform meetings for the benefit of others.

The Fish Platform has the following long-term goals:

  1. To always put fishers first in the work of the FISH Platform.
  2. To initiate and support improvement of international baseline standards in relation to safety and health of fishing vessel personnel.
  3. To work to constantly protect and advocate for fishers’ fundamental human and labour rights, and support the development of remediation pathways towards effective remedies.
  4. To see all fishing vessels regardless of size, fishing in any EEZ’s or exporting their catch internationally, directly or indirectly, applying the international baseline standards in relation to personal and vessel safety, rights and wellbeing.
  5. To support activities that eliminate IUU fishing in relation with safety and health of fishing vessel personnel.
  6. To develop and support supply chain transparency and accountability of ethical and safety standards.
  7. To engage the participation of stakeholders around the world and specifically in Asia which has the vast majority of fishers.

The FISH Platform strategy is high level, but at each meeting of the FISH Platform priority will be given to agenda items that further any of the stated strategic objectives.

Our aim is that the platform helps to influence participants national agenda’s and also encourage, support and influence change in international policy.

FISH Platform members are encouraged:

  1. to share information that contributes to improving the safety and health of fishers on board;
  2. to promote the centralised collection of reliable data on numbers of accidents and near misses in fisheries and its causes; and
  3. where possible, to harmonise existing resources and requirements concerning the safety and health of fishers.

The FISH platform is open to any individuals or organisations around the world with an interest in the safety and health of fishers. At this moment there are no costs associated with participation.

The working language of the FISH Platform is English.