Volume 3, Issue 2 March 2018


Fishers across Europe are at the core of the Common Fisheries Policy.  A new approach towards harmonised preventive measures and training could contribute to risk reduction and improved safety at sea.

By John Wollwerth / Shutterstock

Safety on board is a significant issue. Sea-faring (shipping and fishing related activities) is a hazardous activity. Approximately 160 people lose their lives annually on board EU fishing vessels, in addition to 2,500 other non-lethal sustained injuries.  According to an EP study [Safety and the Causes of Accidents in the Fisheries Sector, 2000 p.6] and an ILO report [Safety and Health in the Fishing Industry, Geneva, 1999, p.19] roughly one out of a hundred accidents occur due to weather conditions and 80 out of a hundred are as a result of human error.

Equal opportunities is also a relevant issue. Over 100,000 women in Europe are statistically recorded as being employed in the fisheries sector; this figure does not include women who work part or full-time for family businesses without legal recognition or associated social benefits. They too need support for training, in particular for the acquisition of skills linked to entrepreneurship and business management.

The new policy of “Blue Growth” may offer new opportunities for fisheries development fostering economic growth, employment and innovation. Inherently there is a need for modern training for fishers (men and women) on various subjects including those described as “smart specialisation”. It is a crucial concept in EU regional development. The Smart specialisation agenda responds to the need for transformation and modernisation of the economy. It does so by exploring and exploiting (cross-cutting) niches of excellence, which requires integrated policy approaches.

Training of fishers is productive investment in the future.

Upcoming research for PECH Committee
  • Training of fishers” – the research endevours to give an overview of fishers’ training practices across Europe with special focus on safety on board and equal opportunities for women in the fishing industry;
  • Landing obligation and choke species in mixed fisheries
  • Seafood industry integration in the EU-2018
Information of interest

An upcoming Workshop on International Agreements in the Fisheries Sector, organised by the European Association of Fisheries Economists (EAFE) in collaboration with the Faroe Islands Ministry of Fisheries and the University of Denmark, will take place on 14-16 May 2018 in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.

The Workshop will bring together international experts dealing with the economics, management, as well as legal and social dimension of international agreements in the seafood sector.

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