Session 8A – The Danish Story: Health and Safety, Education, Social Contract with Collective Financing in the Danish Fishery

Wednesday, June 13, 10:45am–12:15pm, Arts and Administration Building, Room A1049

Niels Wichmann, Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organisation; Flemming Christensen, Danish Fisheries Health and Occupational Board; Karsten Kristensen, Danish General Workers Union; Flemming Smidt, Danish General Workers Union


The presenters will cover the following topics followed by a Q&A session:

  1. Introduction to the Danish Fishery (Fleet structure, Fishery – types, areas, turnover).The Danish fishery is among the largest in Europe, engaging in demersal, pelagic and industrial (for reduction into meal and oil) fishing. Vessels cover the range from coastal boats to large pelagic boats. The last 15 years have seen a concentration brought about primarily by the introduction of ITQ management systems. New, better and safer boats have been built and older ones modernized
  2. Requirements for entry into the fishery – safety course (Anyone who wishes to enter fisheries has to complete a 3 week safety course, irrespective of whether he is 16 or 46.)
  3. Fishery education (Apprentice Scheme – two year education leading to “The Blue Diploma”, Background, development, Collective financing through a national fisheries levy, Vocational and compulsory training for adults, Various courses also organised by the social partners.) Put together in 1995 by the social partners (Danish Fishermen’s PO – DFPO – and the General Workers Union (3F) the Blue Diploma education has educated hundreds of young fishermen through practical training onboard fishing vessels alternating with periods at the Fishery School. The DFPO is formal employer for all the apprentices (currently 80) and organise the practical training period at the Danish fishing vessels. Because of the element of collective financing the apprentices receive a good pay plus bonus at the same time as it is relatively cheap to have an apprentice on board.
  4. Fisheries Health and Occupational Board (HOB): The HOB was established by the social partners in 1995. The work of the HOB has resulted in the fishing industry going from one of the most dangerous occupation to one of the safest. Its administrative board has members form DFPO and 3F. The HBO works in three main areas:
    • –  General work in prevention of accidents and improvement of conditions for fishing vessels (noise, stability etc.) through leaflets , videos, courses.
    • –  Free consultation work for individual vessels in connection with official inspections, modernization project, and new building
    • –  Accident “follow-up” through a network of regional accident committees examining accidents in order to improve future advice.
  5. The work around ILO Convention 188 nationally and at EU level
  6. The Social Contract between DFPO and 3F. We have had a social contract since the beginning of the 1970s. This contract regulates the pay principles (not the pay), working conditions, pension scheme, etc. The contract is renewed every 2 or 3 years, normally without big fights.


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