Fish Safe BC is a commercial-fishing industry-driven safety program with tools designed by fishermen for fishermen in the B.C. commercial fishing industry. The goal is to promote ownership of safety on-board fishing vessels. The FishSafeBC website is an important tool to assist fishermen in their quest to "Come Home Safely."

Fish Safe BC’s core programs provide fishermen with relevant safety training either on their own vessels or in their community. Focus remains on the Safest Catch Program and outreach to the smaller boat fleet. Fish Safe BC advisors get out and spread the word by means of a minimum of 1 day on each vessel with all on-board participating in emergency drills, safety equipment orientation, and safety procedure, including a Cold Water Survival Workshop.  

Sometimes accurate information is the key to changing behaviors. If someone believes the myth that they will succumb to hypothermia within 15 minutes they may not be motivated to wear a PFD. If they were to learn the real facts of cold water survival then they would learn the value of wearing a PFD, and how to retrieve someone from the water (re-boarding ideas are shared).

Fisherman's Tool Box

A Labour Market Information Report indicated a significant number of fishermen (on average 50%) do not have the certification required by Transport Canada. The majority of fishermen are not aware they need more certification or do not realize certificates need to be renewed, which also makes them non-compliant with Transport Canada regulations.  

Fish Safe BC Stability Education Course – 4 Days

A refresher course is offered on how to remove threats to stability from a fishing operation and how to improve on existing working knowledge to develop stability procedures. Concepts and practical applications apply to all fishermen, vessel sizes, and gear types as developed by fishermen in the Fish Safe BC Stability Education Program. Transport Canada and WorkSafeBC require commercial fishermen understand the stability characteristics of their vessel and develop procedures to minimize or remove potential threats to stability. The Fish Safe BC Stability course has been designed and implemented to help fishermen meet these requirements including preparation of on-board documentation and manuals specific to the vessel.

Safe on the Wheel Course – 5 Days

A five-day workshop developed using principals and delivery methods similar to the Stability Course with a goal of giving crew men the tools to be Safe on the Wheel. This course deals with important wheel-watch issues such as fatigue and situational awareness. The basics of Navigation, Chartwork, Electronics, Buoyage, Weather, Colregs and What-If’s are covered to ensure a safer wheel. Participants receive the Safest Catch Wheelhouse logbook which serves as a good reference tool and documentation for wheel turns. Certification:  A Transport Canada SVOP certificate can be provided to all course graduates that provide a CDN#. A Safe on the Wheel course certificate will be issued to all course graduates. (For small vessels -- under 15gt -- the SVOP certificate meets the Vessel Master Certificate requirements. For large vessels -- over 15gt -- the SVOP certificate provides the training/skills for course participants to take safe wheel turns.  OOW certification is pending.)

Safest Catch Program – One-on-One Vessel Visits

This is a program designed to help fishermen develop a system of on-board safety management. Fishermen trained Advisers provide tools and direction in the form of a workshop on the vessel. A review of emergency drills, safety equipment orientation, regulatory requirements, and how to develop a safety procedures manual are included. Both WorkSafeBC and Transport Canada are looking for vessel specific safety programs. MED A3 Option: Fishermen participating in the Safest Catch Program have the option to receive Transport Canada certification for MED A3. Fishermen must provide a CDN# in order to receive a Transport Canada certificate. Topics covered include cold water survival, PFD wear, knots, splicing, skiff set up and of course tying up to a strap and tree. 

Vessels participating in Fish Safe BC programs may be eligible for a 10% discount at Nesika Insurance Services.  Contact FishSafe BC to learn more:

100 - 12051 Horseshoe Way Richmond, BC  V7A 4V4  T 604-261-9700 F 604-275-7140  

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FishSafeBC’s Core Programs Provide Fishermen with Relevant Safety Training

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