Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has welcomed an announcement of extra training and equipment to increase safety for those working on fishing vessels.
The Scottish Conservative MP attended a parliamentary meeting on Fishing Safety where Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani announced an additional £700,000 will be provided to give more fishermen potentially lifesaving training.
This is on top of an existing £250,000 pot, which is matched by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
Increasing safety on fishing vessels is one of the priorities of the Maritime Safety Action Plan, which was published by the Department for Transport on Monday.
The Department for Transport will work with Seafish Industry Authority to deliver more than 500 personal floatation devices fitted with locator beacons, worth a total of £250,000, to help find people who have fallen overboard – the most common reason for fatalities at sea.
Additionally, the department will work with Trinity House and Seafish to promote fishing safety through a targeted radio campaign.
Nusrat Ghani MP said, “Fishing remains the most dangerous industry in the UK, and so we must keep working to reduce the risks crew members face.
“We want to eliminate all preventable deaths by 2027, and the extra training and better equipment I’m announcing today will mean fewer fishermen getting into danger at sea.”
Mr Duguid said: “Fishing is a key industry in my constituency and I welcome any moves to reduce the risk to those making their living at sea.
“It is important that our government provides as much support as possible.
“It is no exaggeration to say that this funding could save lives. I am sure that this will be appreciated by industry leaders and fishermen across the north-east.”
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is also looking, by 2020, to require skippers of vessels between 7 metres and 16.5 metres to hold a Skipper’s Certificate, as well as to implement a new Code of Practice for fishing vessels under 15m, which will include stability requirements.
Throughout the past year, the UK has implemented new regulations to improve the living and working conditions on board fishing vessels. It also requires crew members to wear personal flotation devices if the risk of going overboard cannot be eliminated.