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Report of the FAO/SPC Regional Expert Consultation on Sea Safety in Small Fishing Vessels, Suva, Fiji, 9-13 February 2004











FAO. Report of the FAO-SPC Regional Expert Consultation on Sea Safety in Small Fishing Vessels. Suva, Fiji, 9–13 February 2004. FAO Fisheries Report. No. 737. Rome, FAO. 2004. 51p.


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    The Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP) was invited in the early Eighties by the Shri Lankan Ministry of Fisheries to evaluate the offshore fisheries and the fishing craft being used in it. The evaluation was done by a consultant, O Gulbrandsen, Naval Architect. Subsequent to this evaluation, BOBP helped to develop and introduce two small multiday offshore fishing boats, the SRL-34 and the SRL-15. When Shri Lankan fishermen began fishing further offshore, more and more boats began to disappear a t sea. The BOBP was requested to provide assistance for studying the reasons for the disappearances and to help in making recommendations for the development of search-and-rescue facilities for the island’s fishermen. A consultant (U Hallberg) studied the facilities available and prepared a report which was submitted to the Ministry of Fisheries. Similarly, another consultant (E Dahle) studied the safety aspects of boat construction and prepared a draft of regulations for consideration by the Mi nistry. This report summarizes BOBP’s assistance provided in offshore fishing boat development and related safety-at-sea aspects. The work started under the SIDA funded project “Development of Small-scale Fisheries” GCP/RAS/040/SWE and was concluded under “Small-scale Fisherfolk Communities” GCP/RAS/l18/MUL funded jointly by DANIDA and SIDA.
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    The purpose of the Safety Recommendations contained in this publication is to provide information on the design, construction, equipment, training and protection of the crews of small fishing vessels with a view to promoting the safety of the vessel and the safety and health of the crews. The Safety Recommendations may also serve as a guide for those concerned with the safety of vessels used in support of aquaculture activities. They are not intended as a substitute for national laws a nd regulations but may serve as a guide to those persons concerned with framing such national laws and regulations. Unless otherwise stated, the provisions of the Safety Recommendations are intended to apply to new decked vessels of less than 12 m in length and new undecked vessels intended to operate at sea (as well as on oceans, rivers, lakes and dams, or on any body of water). Nevertheless, even where not otherwise stated, the competent authority should as far as reasonable and pr actical give consideration to the application of these provisions to existing vessels.

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