New Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations coming into force on July 13, 2017

From Transport Canada

If you own or operate a commercial fishing vessel, please read this important safety information. It applies to all commercial fishing vessels that are not more than 24.4 metres in length and not more than 150 gross tonnage.

Most commercial fishing deaths happen because of vessel instability, where a vessel capsizes, founders, or sinks or, because of crew falling overboard. Transport Canada’s priority is to help reduce deaths and injuries as well as loss or damage to commercial fishing vessels. This is why we regularly engage with fishing vessel owners, safety groups and fishing safety associations across the country. Their ideas helped us develop new safety requirements that reflect industry best practices and new technology.

New Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations that come into force on July 13, 2017, will help reduce the risk of accidents and save lives.

The previous Small Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations remain in force until July 13, 2017.

What’s New?

You must provide written safety procedures for your crew

It’s a fact: written safety procedures help increase safety and reduce accidents.

Note: Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security inspectors do not have to approve your written safety procedures, but they may ask to see copies of them on board. Visit Canada.ca/fishing-vessel-safety for templates.

You must also:

  • Hold safety drills to ensure your crew is prepared to follow the safety procedures in an emergency.
  • Keep records of every drill.

Your vessel must carry proper safety equipment

The new requirements provide a range of choices for safety equipment all small fishing vessels must carry (such as life rafts):

  • The personal life-saving appliances and visual signals you must carry depend on hull length.
  • The life rafts and other life-saving appliances you must carry depend on the class of voyage and hull length.
  • The firefighting equipment you must carry depends on hull length.

Your vessel must pass a stability assessment if it:

  • Has a hull length of more than 9 metres, and its construction began or a contract for its construction was signed, after July 13, 2018;
  • Has a hull length of more than 9 metres (no matter the date of construction) and has undergone a major modification or a change in activity that will likely affect its stability after July 13, 2017.
  • Is fitted with an anti-roll tank (no matter the date of construction or its hull length).

If your vessel is not more than 9 metres in hull length, the following applies to you:

  • A vessel that has a hull length of not more than 6 metres, and its construction began or a contract for its construction was signed, after July 13, 2018, must meet the standards for buoyancy, flotation and stability set out in Section 4 of the Construction Standards for Small Vessels (TP 1332).
  • A vessel that has a hull length more than 6 metres but not more than 9 metres, and its construction began or a contract for its construction was signed, after July 13, 2018 must conform to the recommended practices and standards for stability that are appropriate to the type of vesseland that take into account its intended operations.
  • A vessel that is not required to conform to Section 4 of TP 1332 or the recommended practices and standards must have the stability needed to safely carry out the vessel’s intended operations.

Notes:

  1. Even if your vessel is not required to undergo a stability assessment, it must still have the stability it needs to safely carry out its intended operations.
  2. If your fishing vessel had a stability assessment before July 13, 2017, Transport Canada will accept this as meeting the new requirement if:
    • Transport Canada approved the assessment; and
    • The assessment is up-to-date and accurately reflects the vessel’s structure, fishing gear and operations.
  3. A fishing vessel of closed construction, more than 15 gross tonnage and used for catching herring or capelin any time between July 6, 1977, and July 13, 2017, will still need a stability assessment as per the previous Small Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations. Transport Canada will accept a stability assessment conducted during that period as continuing to meet the requirement if:
    • Transport Canada approved the assessment; and
    • The assessment is up-to-date and accurately reflects the vessel’s structure, fishing gear and operations.

Small Vessel Compliance Program

A new version of the Small Vessel Compliance Program is being developed to help owners and operators of small commercial fishing vessels not more than 15 gross tonnage understand and meet the regulatory requirements.

Please note that all fishing vessels more than 15 gross tonnage will continue to be inspected for certification by Transport Canada.

Protect yourself and your crew!

  • Wear a personal flotation device or a lifejacket. It may save your life!
  • Make sure you are familiar with vessel’s lifesaving and firefighting equipment
  • Practice survival drills
  • Keep a record of written safety procedures and all safety drills
  • Assess the impact that any vessel modifications, or any changes in operations may have on your vessel’s stability before you make them

Stay up to date! Visit Canada.ca/fishing-vessel-safety.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Transport, 2017.

Cette publication est aussi disponible en français sous le titre Entrée en vigueur du nouveau Règlement sur la sécurité des bâtiments de pêche le 13 juillet 2017

TP No. 15299 E
Catalogue No. T86-21/2017E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-660-06610-3

Permission to reproduce

Transport Canada grants permission to copy and/or reproduce the contents of this publication for personal and public non-commercial use. Users must reproduce the materials accurately, identify Transport Canada as the source and not present theirs as an official version, or as having been produced with the help or the endorsement of Transport Canada.

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