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Fishermen’s training and use of safety equipment: A case-study of the Artisanal Fleet of Andalusia

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This article is intended as a contribution to safety and health in small-scale/artisanal fishing in the autonomous region of Andalusia, Spain. Training is examined as a key element for reducing risks and therefore the serious number of accidents that occur in the fishery work sector as one of those that is statistically reflected as such and discusses the international and Spanish regulations. The case study focuses on the use of safety equipment in this fishing fleet and highlights the improper use of safety equipment and lack of a health and safety culture. Training is examined as a key element in promoting health and safety awareness in this group.

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  1. 1

    Final Report Research Project “EstadoGeneral de la Flota Pesquera Andaluza desde el punto de vista de la Seguridad Marítima y la Prevención de Riesgos Laborales a bordo (SEGUMAR).” General Directorate for Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Government of Andalusia — File ESP.1.AND.5.1.2001 — Financial Orientation Instrument for Fisheries, European Union. Head Project Researcher: Francisco Piniella Corbacho. Re search Team: Milagrosa Casimiro-Soriguer Escofet, José Pedro Novalbos Ruiz, Pedro Nogueroles Alonso de la Sierra. Research Project Trainees: Ma Ángeles Fernández Engo, Jesús Aragonés Guillén, Teresa Reinares Braza, Virginia Hernanz García, Ester Estrada López, Noelia Valle Cruz, and Fernando Castro López. The Report is available in Spanish at: /segumar2.htm

  2. 2

    M. Ben-Yami, “Risks and dangers in small-scale fisheries: An overview.” Sectoral Activities Working Paper, SAP 3.6/WP.147 (Geneva: ILO, 2000).

  3. 3

    C. Chauvin, and G. Le Bouar, “Occupational injury in the French sea fishing industry: A comparative study between the 1980s and today,”Accident Analysis and Prevention 39 (2007): 79–85.

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    C. Matheson, S. Morrison, E. Murphy, T. Lawrie, L. Ritchie, and C. Bond, “The health of fishermen in the catching sector of the fishing industry: a gap analysis,”Occupational Medicine 51, no. 5 (2001): 305–11.

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    I. M. Kaplan, and H. L. Kite-Powell, “Safety at sea and fisheries management: Fishermen’s attitudes and the need for co-management,”Marine Policy 24 (2000): 493–497.

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    C. Pérez-Labajos, “Fishing safety policy and research,”Marine Policy (forthcoming).

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    G. Petursdottir, O. Hannibalsson, and J.M.M. Turner, “Safety at sea as an integral part of fisheries management,” FAO Fisheries Circular No. 966 (Rome: FAO, 2001).

  8. 8

    Prior to that time, other international bodies such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had been responsible for the certification of seafarers through certain of its regulations: Certificate of Competency for Officers, 1936 (Reg no. 53); Certification of Seafarers, 1946 (Reg no. 74); Certification of Cooks, 1946 (Reg no. 69).

  9. 9

    For example, in 1991, an amendment regarding the GMDSS was drawn up and entered into force in December of 1992 [adopted by Resolution MSC 21(59)]. In 1994, the amendments to the requirements for the training of personnel on tankers were drawn up and entered into force in January 1996 [adopted by Resolution MSC 33(63)].

  10. 10

    This revision to the convention was made during the meeting held from 26 June to 7 July 1995, and is referred to as STCW-95. The revised convention became effective on 1 February 1997, and its first amendments, specifically those made to Chapter V, became effective on 1 January 1999. In 2001, other amendments were made to Chapters A-II/1 and AII/2. These were signed on 1 February 2002 and entered in force on 1 January 2003. Updates and revisions were also made to particular paragraphs.

  11. 12

    The 40th Conference of the International Transport Federation (ITF) held in Vancouver from 14 to 21 August 2002, recognised that the STCW-F Convention had not fulfilled the objectives with regard to education, training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers on fishing ships. Among its conclusions, it also adopted the resolution that, given the diversity of tasks and technological equipment that must be used on fishing ships, the STCW-F Convention should not stipulate fewer requirements for fishermen than those required for seafarers in general. In the European Parliament’s Resolution on “Fisheries: Safety and Causes of Accidents”, it considered as very negative that an international legal gap should continue to exist with regard to safety for fishing fleets. [24.1.2002 EN C 21 E/359] Official Journal of the European Communities, Thursday, 5 April 2001.

  12. 13

    C. Perez-Labajos, M. Azofra, B. Blanco, J. Achutegui, and J. González, “Analysis of accident inequality of the Spanish fishing fleet,”Accident Analysis and Prevention 38 (2006): 1174.

  13. 15

    An introduction to the Andalusian fishing sector is presented in our paper: F. Piniella, M.C. Soriguer, and M.A. Fernández-Engo, “Artisanal fishing in Andalusia: A statistical study of the fleet,”Marine Policy 31 (2007): 573–581.

  14. 16

    note 13.

  15. 17

    Risks and dangers (See note 2), Part 1.1.

  16. 18

    In the case of the Andalusian coastal fishing fleet, this sector falls outside the main European Directives, as has been mentioned in the European Parliament itself (DOCE C21E/359-364 of 24 January 2002). The following European Directives are not applicable: Directive 93/103/CE of the Council, of 23 November, relating to the provisions of minimum safety and health at work on board fishing vessels (DOCE L 307 of 13.12.1993, p. 1.); Directive 97/70/CE of the Council, of 11 December, on the harmonized regime for the safety of fishing boats of length equal to or more than 24 metres (DOCE L 34 of 9.12.1998, p. 1.); and Directive 92/29/CEE of the Council, of 31 March, relating to the provisions for minimum safety and health to promote improved medical attention on board the vessels (DOCE L 113 of 30.4.1992, p. 19).

  17. 19

    Risks and dangers (See note 2), Part 3.3.

  18. 20

    José Carlos Macías and Francisco Piniella, “La seguridad en los buques pesqueros” (lecture to “Segumar” project research trainees, International Summer Course — “La Industria de la Pesca: Puertos, Empresas y Transporte”, Cadiz, 15–26 July, 2002).

  19. 23

    J.E. Sverre (contribution, International Symposiumon Safety and Working Conditions Aboard Fishing Vessels, Université de Quebec, 1989) quoted in G. Petursdottir and others, “Fisheries Management” (see note 7).

  20. 27

    Royal Decree 1216/97.

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Correspondence to Francisco Piniella.

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Piniella, F. Fishermen’s training and use of safety equipment: A case-study of the Artisanal Fleet of Andalusia. WMU J Marit Affairs 6, 105–121 (2007).

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Key words

  • Safety at Sea
  • Fishing Fleet
  • Maritime Accidents