Session 7A – Latent and Active Causes of Vessel Losses

Wednesday, June 13, 9:00am–10:30am, Arts and Administration Building, Room A1043

7A.1  The stability of fishing vessels at seaKenneth Smith, Hook Marine, Ltd.

It is widely acknowledged in the United Kingdom that commercial fishing is the most dangerous of all regular occupations. Data published by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch show that the accident rate in merchant shipping is declining as it is in most other industries, but in the fishing fleet accident rates remain stubbornly high. It is often imagined that loss of crew overboard from a vessel must be the principal cause of loss of life at sea. This is understandable, and this important issue has attracted a great deal of concern and action in recent years, with many safety organisations and fishermen’s associations making lightweight life jackets available to fishermen at little or no cost. However, statistics prove that loss of vessel stability is a considerably greater factor in loss of lives and vessels, accounting for 60 to 70 per cent of fatal accidents. The major causes of stability loss are considered, both slow losses due to the developing condition of the vessel and its load, and also sudden losses due to overboard loads being applied. Current development work on monitoring real-time stability in a seaway is presented.

 

7A.2  Reducing fishing vessel capsizingBryan Davis, Memorial University

This presentation outlines our project’s approach to reducing fishing vessel capsizing in Newfoundland. Capsizing is a serious concern amongst members of the fishing community in Newfoundland. These events are rare but are often fatal, result in large economic losses, and are highly publicized. It is important to determine the primary causes of vessels capsizings in order to put preventative measures in place. Investigation reports of capsizing events were analyzed and will be supplemented by interviews with fish harvesters who have had a “near miss” capsizing event. In addition to this data collection, roundtable discussions with fish harvesters focusing on their perceived risk of capsizing will be performed. From these assessments, an outline of a program focusing on education and awareness will be prepared. This program will equip operators with the knowledge that will allow them to make informed decisions regarding the stability of their vessel.

 

7A.3  Evaluation of policy measures to prevent collision of fishing boats with merchant ships in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone Rajdeep Murkherjee and Yugraj Singh Yadava, Bay of Bengal Programme Inter‐Governmental Organisation

Port-led development policies in the region and promotion of offshore fishing by the coastal States/Union Territories and Union Governments of India have increased both the shipping and fishing traffic in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Along with this increase in traffic, the number of reported incidents of collision between fishing boats and merchant ships have also increased. In 2017, there were four major incidents involving fishing vessels and merchant ships, which caused loss of lives and destruction of fishing vessels. The situation is further aggravated by engagement of migrant labour from the hinterland of India, who have no prior experience in ‘Rules of the Road’. While the Merchant Shipping Act of 1958 guides the registration of both the merchant ships and the fishing vessels, regulations concerning qualification of fishing crew and fitness of fishing vessels have been diluted considering their size, area and scale of operation and in general marginal economic status. However, with the fishing vessels moving increasingly offshore and Indian waters attracting more shipping traffic, the situation is likely to worsen in the coming period. The issue is now getting increased policy focus and agencies involved in shipping and fishing regulations are coming together to find possible options to address the problem. A standard Operating Practice has also been developed by the Directorate General of Shipping for consideration of the marine fisheries agencies in the country. The paper evaluates the policy development so far and options for developing a suitable mechanism as fishers usually undermine the navigational risks of fishing.

 

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