An industry-specific confidential safety event reporting system for the Fishing Industry

FISHER Project

Accurate and comprehensive information is crucially important in improving safety standards and practice in the Fishing Industry. The reality however, is that there is a real dearth of this information – and the FISH Safety Foundation, in response to this situation – has now launched an industry-specific confidential event reporting system, the FISHER (Fishing Industry Safety & Health Event Reporting) Project.

Pelagic fishing vessel fully loaded with Capelin sailing near the coast of Iceland.

The FISHER Project will allow all participants in the fishing industry to submit confidential reports of any health and safety event or occurrence*; including:

  • Vessel and operational incidents & accidents
  • Unsafe practices
  • Personal accidents
  • Near miss situations
  • Critical equipment failures
  • Human factor issues
  • Occupational health issues
  • Disregard of legal requirements
  • Not following good practice / seamanship
  • Personal observations
  • Any methods adopted to prevent repetitions, and anything else that would be of value to the rest of industry.

* [An occurrence here means any safety-related event which endangers or which, if not corrected or addressed, could endanger a fishing or other vessel, its occupants or any other person].

We’re strong advocates of learning from accidents, so this will allow us to find out what is REALLY happening out there, not just the stuff that gets reported through the official channels. We want to hear about ALL your safety events – by encouraging the people at the “sharp end” of day-to-day operations to report safety problems they encounter, safety goals will be reached much sooner than if we never hear the stories of those lessons learned.

It is important to note that the FISH Safety Foundation has no regulatory or enforcement role. We do however, guarantee confidentiality to all reporters. By providing a no-blame reporting channel, we can actively work on preventing reoccurrence and reducing the unnecessarily high accident and fatality rate at sea.

This is a dedicated fishing program – essentially the fishing industry “owns it”. FISHER Reports will “fill the gaps” left by current accident investigations, mandatory event reporting, and other information gathering systems. We intend to extract as much information as possible from the reports, build up trust with the industry, and form a valuable data base of industry beliefs and practice.

The Foundation aims to use the information gained to feed back into the Fishing Alert! Program and crewSAFE Program initiatives. Further, we will provide a report-back portal to share the stories, and the valuable learnings arising from the misfortune of others.

We won’t be doing this alone or in isolation – through our Chief Executive, Eric Holliday, we are also international Ambassadors for both the Nautical Institute Mariners' Alerting and Reporting Scheme (MARS), and the CHIRP Maritime Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Program. The Foundation will actively promote both these programs, and, where permission is given by the reporter, we will pass de-identified and confidential reports to the MARS and CHIRP administrators for wider dissemination through their respective channels. This strategic link will allow lessons learned to be brought to international and IMO attention.

Details of the two programs can be found here:

MARS Program
CHIRP Maritime


Best-Practice Occupational Health and Safety Framework

Fit to FISH

eLearning app with a focus on fishermen's wellness and how it can affect their behaviour and safety

Fishing ALERT!

Direct focus on the human – the fisherman - and how he responds and interacts with others around him

FISHER Project

An industry-specific confidential safety event reporting system