Our Work Series


The FISHER Project is a global accident data management system for the fisheries sector, and is aimed at the promotion, implementation and harmonisation of fishing accident reporting schemes and databases, including the facilitating of both voluntary and formal reporting, and the recording and analysis of relevant casualty data. 

Letter of Intent

In support of the ongoing development of the Project, a Letter of Intent has now been signed between the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), the Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) and the FISH Safety Foundation (FSF).

International Collaboration

This global initiative is unanimously welcomed and supported by the IMO and FAO as the United Nations Agencies actively involved with fishing activities. We thank them for their expressed strong interest. We also wish to acknowledge and thank LRF and Pew for their invaluable ongoing assistance and support of the Project during this development phase.

Global Initiative

The need for a global fishing accident reporting system and database has long been recognised.

In 2009 the FAO took the first major step in this quest and contracted SSPA Sweden to investigate and produce a set of “Guidelines for Accident Reporting and Analysis Systems for Small Fishing Vessels”. This was followed up in 2011 by the first ‘test’ of the Guidelines referred to above. See the RFLP “Final Report from the Implementation of Accident Reporting Systems in Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste”.

Further work was done in this area, resulting in the 2015 FAO “Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries No.1 Supplement 3 Fishing Operations: Best Practices to improve Safety at Sea in the Fisheries Sector.”

And in 2019, the FISH Safety Foundation was contracted by the FAO to develop an Accident Reporting System for the Caribbean small-scale fisheries. The FISHER Project is therefore a continuation and significant expansion on their original work. We are doing this with the full support of, and collaboration with, the FAO and thank them for this.

The FISHER Project is therefore a continuation and significant expansion on their original work. We are doing this with the full support of, and collaboration with, the FAO and thank them for this.


Illustration of a fisherman making an accident submission to FISHER
Key Contacts
Peter Williams
Head of Technology
Eric Holliday
Chief Executive
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Areas of Focus

All outputs from the FISHER Project will provide United Nations Agencies, Regional Fisheries Bodies, Administrations, researchers and the Industry – including vessel owners, managers and fishers – with practical evidence-based information to be used to improve safety.

Project Updates

FISHER is an accident reporting, recording and analysis program for fisheries globally. This project is particularly important given the number of accidents occurring in the fishing industry – particularly the small-scale sector. The current official fatality estimates are given as some 24 000 to 32 000 fatalities a year, but our research indicates the figure is at least three to four times higher (see details and link below).


  • Conceptualising the concept (and doing the original planning)


  • Launching the programme (and the concept of confidential reporting alongside official reporting) in Saint Lucia
  • Continuing to promote FISHER  - see  Case Study
  • Promotional TV Public Service Announcement
  • Undertaking a survey in Saint Lucia as to fishers' perceptions, barriers and actions regarding
  • Developed a set of Guidelines for fishing accident management
  • Signed a Letter of Intent with IMO, Pew and Lloyd's Register Foundation to further develop the programme in 2021


  • Undertook an in-depth study on the technological needs of a modern repository · we published a report into the scale of fisher fatalities in 2022
  • FAO country member support at the 2022 COFI meeting, and include the need for a repository on to the FAO work plan – see res 18(j)


  • Artificial Intelligence MVP video produced solving the difficulties that arise from  multiple languages / illiteracy issues - we can now interact with fishers anywhere in the world in their own language, in real-time, using AI technology.
  • Daily update of fisher fatalities (with links to source material)
  • Signed an MOU with the Bay of Bengal IGO  to implement our programme in the Bay of Bengal Region.

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