Coastal Fisheries Programme

Number 3 - October 2007


Group Co-ordinator and Bulletin Editor: Hugh Walton.

Prepared by the Nearshore Fisheries Development and Information Sections of the Marine Resources Division and printed with financial assistance from France.


International tools for improved fishing vessel safety

Hello again, readers. First off, my apologies for the delay in completion and publication of this bulletin. A heavier-than-usual workload and more travel than I care for in the past few months, but back on schedule now and hopefully more regular in the months to come.

There is some excellent material in this bulletin, and I would first like to draw your attention to the lead article in the Safety Feature section regarding the ratification of the Torremolinos Protocol and the STCW-F Convention. As noted in the article, there is a real possibility for Pacific Island countries (PICs) to act collectively in the ratification and adoption of these important documents in the interests of promoting common safety standards, saving lives and preventing accidents. It requires support for the further development of political will in taking responsible steps with safety issues in an international framework. A task for all with an interest in preventing accidents and loss of life at sea.

Readers will also enjoy the contribution from Simon Reid on the New Zealand FishSAFE initiative, which has been a multi-agency commitment to addressing work safety issues at an individual boat level. An excellent initiative that is proving very successful and could well be applied more widely in the region. Thanks are due to John Swamy for his summary of the EU-funded sea safety programme for increasing safety awareness among artisanal fishermen in the tsunami-affected districts of Nagapattinam and Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India.

This edition also takes a look at some important aspects of marine communications, with a summary of the new GPIRB and a discussion of the pros and cons of mobile phones. I would again like to encourage group members and readers to sharpen their pencils or sit down at their keyboard and send in safety-related stories and articles.

Hugh Walton



  • Application of Safe Operation Plans during the practical component of the SPC/NMIT Pacific Islands Fisheries Officers Course
  • The Torremolinos Protocol and STCW-F Convention: Tools for improved fishing vessel safety
  • FishSAFE: A New Zealand fishing industry safety programme
  • The GPIRB: The smart EPIRB
  • VHF radios versus cellular phones
  • A safer tool: The improved ATÉPAS dugout canoe in Senegal
  • New Maritime New Zealand DVD
  • Preventable tragedy: Reinforcing the dangers of alcohol and boats
  • And in Papua New Guinea, alcohol kills - An update by Hugh Walton
  • Sea safety project for artisanal fishermen in Nagapattinam and Cuddalore Districts, January-June 2006

Download the complete publication:

Sea Safety #3 (pdf: )



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