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Clarification of PFD Requirements - From Transport Canada (April 2019)

Fishing Vessel (Any Length/Tonnage) fitted with Life Jackets

  • Transport Canada Approved PFD - also with Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB-65.11-88 rating

   Needs to have:

  • Highly visible colour (if inflatable, internal bladder needs to be highly visible, external doesn’t have to be)

  • Retro reflective tape 

  • Whistle, fitted (can be added after if needed)

  • Still required to carry life jackets when vessel is over 12m in length operating beyond 25nm from shore.

 

Fishing Vessel (under 12m/within 25nm from shore) NOT fitted with Life Jackets

  • Transport Canada Approved PFD - also with Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB-65.11-88 rating

   Needs to have:

  • Highly visible colour (if inflatable, internal bladder needs to be high visible, external doesn’t have to be)

  • Retro reflective tape 

  • Whistle, fitted (can be added after if needed)

  • Minimum 100 newtons of buoyancy

New Federal Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations now in Force

 

Transport Canada (TC) has introduced new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations that apply to fishing vessels that are not more than 24.4 m in length and not more than 150 gross tonnage.  These regulations include new requirements for vessel stability, new carriage requirements for lifesaving equipment, and all vessels are expected to implement written safety procedures.  The new regulations amend the previous Small Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations and come into force on July 13, 2017.  The following is a link to the federal government website outlining the new regulations: www.canada.ca/fishing-vessel-safety .

 

It is TC’s responsibility to effectively communicate the new safety regulations, to develop and communicate national standards to achieve compliance, and to engage with fishing organizations on a regional basis to ensure harvesters have the time, skills and resources to become compliant.  Thus, the Fish Harvesting Safety Association (NL-FHSA), PFHCB and FFAW are continuing to strongly advocate for the development of a proper TC industry implementation plan to maximize the full potential of these new safety regulations. 

 

CLICK HERE for the complete new Transport Canada regulations.  Some highlights of the new regulations are provided below.

 

 

Regulatory Highlights...

 

Lifesaving/Safety Equipment - new and existing fishing vessels.

The safety equipment requirements are determined by the vessel’s hull length, operation, and type of voyage.  Personal life-saving appliances and visual signals are required for all small fishing vessels according to their hull length. Different requirements apply to small fishing vessels that have a hull length of more than 6 m, more than 6 m but not more than 9 m, more than 9 m but not more than 12 m, more than 12 m but not more than 15 m, and more than 15 m.

 

Life rafts and other life-saving appliances on small fishing vessels are required according to the class of voyage and hull length, and provide a range of life saving appliance choices.  The requirements for firefighting equipment are based on vessel hull length.  Different requirements apply to small fishing vessels that have a hull length of not more than 6 m, more than 6 m but not more than 9 m, more than 9 m but not more than 15 m, and more than 15 m.

 

The following is a link to the specific requirements, based on your vessel’s length and type of voyage.  Click on the vessel that applies to you:

All Vessels – Limited to sheltered waters or maximum 2 miles from shore

12m or Less (39’4”), NC2 (Maximum 25 miles from shore)

More than 12m (39’4”), NC2 (Maximum 25 miles from shore)

12m or Less (39’4”), NC1 (More than 25 miles from shore)

More than 12m (39’4”), NC1 (More than 25 miles from shore)

Summary for all vessels/distances from shore

  

 

Stability Assessments – new and existing fishing vessels.

As of July 13, 2017, the following fishing vessels must successfully undergo a stability assessment by a competent person:

  • A vessel that has a hull length of more than 9 m whose construction was started or that a contract was signed for the construction after July 13, 2018;

  • A vessel constructed on any date that has a hull length of more than 9 m and that has undergone a major modification or a change in activity that is likely to adversely affect its stability after July 13, 2017.

  • A vessel constructed on any date of any length fitted with an anti-roll tank at any time.

  • A fishing vessel of closed construction, more than 15 gross tonnage and used for catching herring or capelin during the period beginning on July 6, 1977 and ending on July 13, 2017 will still need a stability assessment as per the previous Small Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations.

 

As of July 13, 2017, a fishing vessel that is not required to undergo a stability assessment by a competent person shall have adequate stability to safely carry out the vessel’s intended operations.

 

Written Safety Procedures - new and existing fishing vessels. 

As of July 2017, the fishing vessel’s Authorized Representative is responsible to ensure the creation, implementation and maintenance of written safety procedures for all crewmembers onboard each fishing vessel.  Transport Canada is requiring the safety procedures to be established in writing, and put in place to familiarize persons onboard on how to safely operate the vessel and deal with emergencies.  Transport Canada is requiring owner/operators to ensure each crewmember is familiar and demonstrates competency with the shipboard equipment and operational instructions specific to the vessel and their assigned duties.

 

Masters and Authorized Representatives must also ensure that drills on the safety procedures are held as often as necessary to ensure the crew is proficient in carrying out the procedures at all times.  Written records are to be kept of every drill for seven years.

 

* These highlights are excerpts or summaries of the new Regulations.  The full regulatory requirements can be found on Government of Canada’s website by following the above links.  The information is not meant to replace the Regulations. In case of disparities with the Regulations, the Regulations prevail.

 

For more information please CONTACT US at  the NL-FHSA, or your local Transport Canada office.