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

Fishing ALERT!

In 2003 The Nautical Institute launched the hugely successful Alert! Series – ultimately setting the benchmark by producing 40 Human Element themed publications (

Now, thanks to special permission given by The Nautical Institute, the FISH Safety Foundation new initiative – Fishing Alert! addresses a range of critical Human Element issues for the fishing industry.

This Fishing Alert! Project will direct focus on the human – the fisherman -  and how he responds and interacts with others around him. These personal and interpersonal factors will each be examined to establish potential areas of human factor performance.

Personal Factors

  • Physical Factors
  • Physiological Factors
  • Psychological Factors
  • Psychosocial Factors

Interpersonal Factors

  • Verbal Communication
  • Personnel Interaction / Relationships
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Shared responsibility for safety

Through this work we will be investigating both Human Factor issues, such as cognitive function and decision making, and Occupational Health issues, such as the increased risk of chronic health issues in commercial fishermen.

As progress continues to be made in the area of vessel and operational safety, work still needs to be done around the occupational health of commercial fishermen.

With USCG data indicating that up to 80% of maritime accidents are initiated or associated with human error, more focus needs to be placed on the health – both physical and mental- of our fishermen.

As part of the Fishing Alert! project, we will be exploring the potential health implications associated with commercial fishing.

The FISH Safety Foundation will systematically be delving into all areas of life as a fisherman. We will be discussing the immediate and chronic health concerns that may be attributed to the job, as well as any impact these might have on one’s ability to safely operate a vessel. More importantly, we will provide realistic suggestions on ways to mitigate these issues in an effort to improve both safety of the fisherman, AND safety of the vessel.

Keep our Fishermen Healthy

Numerous studies have touched on the subject of fishermen’s health while on board, often highlighting an increased level of negative medical indicators. However, due to the sheer number of factors contributing to fishermen’s overall wellness, it’s a daunting subject to address.
While often brushed over, nutrition is a critical factor in maintaining good health in such a challenging occupation. The majority of medical conditions regularly experienced by fishermen can be improved, or avoided all together, through simple changes in eating habits. Common issues experienced in fishing such as stress, fatigue, depression, musculoskeletal problems, vision problems and respiratory tract problems can ALL be reduced through good nutrition.

Realistically though, simply telling a crew to change their eating habits, to eat more vegetables and less fried food, isn’t going to work. We understand the need for easy and satisfying meals that can be quickly prepared on a moving vessel, so part of our focus will be on providing just that. The recipes and videos that follow have been designed to meet two simple requirements - They must be freezer friendly for cooking before the trip starts, OR they must be able to be prepared with easy to find (and easy to store) ingredients in a vessels galley. Each meal has been chosen and customised to provide high levels of various nutrients which are essential in maintaining our fishermen’s health, and will come with an explanation of these nutrients, and why they’re important.

"Human Factors refer to the environmental, organisational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics, which influence behaviour at work in a way that can affect health and safety "  The UK Health and Safety Executive
The role of Human Factors in occupational safety involves three distinct, but interrelated, aspects that need to be considered.
  • The Job – The nature of the task, the workload, the working environments, the design of the displays and controls, and the role of procedures.
  • The Individual – His/her competence, skill, personality, attitude and risk perception.
  • The Organisation – such as work patterns, workplace culture, resources, leadership and communication.

In other words, human factors is concerned with what people are being asked to do (the task and its characteristics), who is doing it (the individual and their competence) and where they are working (the organisation and its attributes), all of which are influenced by the wider societal concern, both local and national.

The Foundation is developing an industry leading practical body of Human Element knowledge for commercial fishing. The Fishing Alert! Publications will be closely based off the original Nautical Institute Alert! Project, with a strong emphasis on a ‘lessons learnt’ approach.  We plan to develop this project in three phases.

Phase 1: Focuses on the development of the industry – specific Fishing Alert! series. These publications will be displayed on the website, along with a downloadable pdf.  New publication releases will be actively promoted through multiple streams of social media.

Phase 2: Phase two would focus on the producing the developed material in a hard copy format. Ultimately, we aim to have a regular copy of the Fishing Alert! available on all fishing vessels.

Phase 3: Phase Three will focus on the development of visual media, such as video’s and Apps, with an increased emphasis on training and education, coupled with active marketing through trade shows and conference presentations.