Regulation of health and safety in the fishing, fish-farming – or, as it’s known, the aquaculture industry - involves either HSE or the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Both regulators are concerned about the number of deaths and injuries. Since 2000, HSE has investigated four fatalities and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch many more. There have also been many injuries and cases of ill health.
Regulatory responsibility for activities at fish cages and associated moored structures as well as cages on land falls to HSE, whilst the MCA deals with activities on board vessels at sea which come under maritime law. Both organisations sometimes need to work together; the Scottish Aquaculture Industry Forum (SAIF) was set up to support close working relations between the enforcement bodies and with the industry itself. As well as HSE and MCA, SAIF membership includes the Northern Lighthouse Board, the Crown Estate, RNLI, Scottish Sea Farms, the Scottish Salmon Company and others
One of the main functions of the SAIF is to promote good practice to achieve compliance with health and safety requirements by the industry whether they operate at sea or from at fixed structures.
The SAIF have adopted HSE’s model of Safety and Health Awareness Days to demonstrate practical health and safety approaches.