Fishing safety is an important concern for fishers in the Philippines, as they face various dangers while out at sea. The country's vast coastline and abundant marine resources make fishing a significant livelihood for many Filipinos, but it also comes with inherent risks.
Fisherman Sabang, Palawan, Philippines


The fisheries sector in the Philippines is classified into capture fisheries and aquaculture. Capture fisheries is subdivided into municipal, commercial, and inland fisheries. As defined under Republic Act (RA) 8550 otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 and as amended by RA 10654, municipal fisheries are traditional, artisanal, subsistence or small-scale fisheries that involve the use of vessels 3 gross tons (GT) or less as well as fishing operations that do not use fishing boats while commercial fisheries include all fishing operations that use vessels of over 3.1 GT.

Commercial fishing is classified into: a) small scale – making use of passive or active gear and utilising fishing vessels of 3.1-20 GT; b) medium scale – utilising active gears and vessels of 20.1-150 GT; and c) large scale – utilising active gears and vessels of more than 150 GT. Commercial fishing vessels are required to fish outside municipal waters, which is beyond 15 km off the shoreline and are required to a secure commercial fishing vessel license (CFVL) from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), which is subject to renewal every three years (Source: The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)).

Enhancing Safety Measures

To safeguard fishers, it is essential to implement robust safety measures. This includes ensuring that all fishing vessels are equipped with necessary safety equipment such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and communication devices. Regular maintenance of fishing gear and vessels should also be prioritised to prevent accidents caused by faulty equipment.

Promoting Safety Training and Awareness

Fishers should receive proper training on safety procedures and emergency response protocols. This includes training on boat handling, navigation techniques, first aid, and rescue operations. Additionally, raising awareness about fishing safety through campaigns, workshops, and community engagement programs can empower fishers with knowledge to protect themselves while at sea.

Latest Work

We are dedicated to fostering collaboration with the Philippines to enhance fishing safety and promote sustainable development in the industry

Enhancing Safety at Sea: ‘Train-the-Trainer’ Program Implemented in the Philippines

Too many accidents are happening in small-scale fisheries. Most small-scale fishers are not carrying safety equipment on board in the Near East and Northern African region
Learn more

Research Project – Safety in Small Scale Fishing

A Lloyds Register funded research project was jointly conducted between the FSF and the Marine Institute (Memorial University, St John’s, Canada) in the Philippines between September 2018 and February 2019.
Learn more
Philippines Fishermen setting sail on their catamaran


Key People

Eric Holliday
Chief Executive

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