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Council supports safety at sea initiatives

April 2008

New Zealand Seafood Industry Council supports safety at sea initiatives

The release of the Report 06-204, fishing vessel Kotuku capsized, Foveaux Straight, 13 May 2006, highlights the need for vigilance and compliance with regulations established to prevent accidents at sea, said New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Chief Executive Owen Symmans.

“On behalf of the industry I want to express our sympathy to the people who have lost loved ones in this sad event.

“The marine environment is an unforgiving one. Our industry is no stranger to the risks of being out at sea. However, we are very pleased with the results of our FishSAFE joint initiative with Maritime NZ and ACC to reduce accident and injury rates.”

The FishSAFE initiative was formed in 2005. Health and safety workshops were launched in May 2006 using material written by inshore fishermen for inshore fishermen. Combining free mentoring and working one-on-one, FishSAFE’s aim is to increase the level of safety on board boats. So far, over 620 individual fishers from over 420 boats have been through the workshops.

Since the FishSAFE programme commenced, results suggest a 50% reduction in ACC claims by the year end June 2008.

“This is an excellent example of government and industry working together for common goals. In this instance it is work that is actively saving lives,” he said.

ENDS


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