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Fed Training Req

Training is essential to the future success of the fishing industry and plays a lead role in the development of an industry-wide safety culture, as well as the prevention of injuries and fatalities. There is a wide variety of training requirements and opportunities that fish harvesters should be aware of—all contributing either directly or indirectly to the advancement of safety. Some of the more noteworthy training requirements are:



The Marine Personnel Regulations (MPR) of the Canada Shipping Act outline the training requirements for fish harvesters (masters and crew members) operating fishing vessels. The full regulations/requirements can be found in the REGULATIONS section, but some of the main requirements are listed below. For more information on the specific crewing/training requirements for your vessel, please contact your nearest Transport Canada office. 

Additional Information/Clarification

For additional information or clarification of the MPRs, and the specific requirements for your vessel, you should refer to the regulations or contact your nearest Transport Canada office. 

Toll-free 1 855-859-3123
St. John's (709) 772-5167
Lewisporte (709) 535-2503 
Corner Brook (709) 637-4390


Provincial OH&S

Much of the focus on fish harvester training in recent years has been on the training requirements of Transport Canada's federal Marine Personnel Regulations (MPR), such as MED, ROC-MC and Fishing Masters training. However, it is important for fish harvesters to remember that provincial OH&S regulations have training requirements that apply to fishing vessels/workplaces as well. The provincial OH&S training requirements include:

First Aid

Similar to the federal regulations, every fishing vessel/workplace is required to have at least one person on board trained in First Aid. 

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 

Safety Committee/Safety Representative


Fall Protection

For more information on the provincial training requirements for your vessel, contact the provincial OH&S Division at 1 (800) 563-5471



Marine Institute 

The vast majority of fisheries training, including safety training and other master and crew training in NL, is delivered by the Marine Institute of Memorial University. Training is offered either at the main campus (St. John's), through community-based delivery throughout the province, or online/distance delivery methods. A sample of the safety-related fisheries training delivered by MI includes:


  • Marine Emergency Duties (MED): MI is certified to deliver all Transport Canada MED training courses, including MED A1, MED A3, STCW Basic Safety, MED B1, MED B2, MED C, and MED D. The Offshore Safety & Survival Centre (OSSC) located in Foxtrap offers all MED courses, and MED A1 and A3 are offered regularly through community-based delivery

  • Fishing Masters (FM IV, III, II, I): Fishing Masters courses of all levels are available at the main campus, and FMIV & FMIII are available through community-based delivery and online/distance delivery

  • Radio Operator Training, Small Vessel Operator Proficiency, Marine First Aid and many other fisheries-related training courses are also available

For more information on fisheries-related training at the Marine Institute, including upcoming scheduled courses, please call (709) 778-0623  


Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board (PFHCB) 

The PFHCB is an authorized deliverer of Transport Canada MED A3 training (valid for vessels fishing inside 25 nautical miles), and a certified deliverer of Canadian Red Cross Marine Basic First Aid. This training is normally delivered as part of a 5-Day Basic Safety for Fish Harvesters course. This course also meets the Transport Canada equivalency for a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, valid as master of a fishing vessel operating within 2 nautical miles from shore.

On a seasonal basis, or upon request, the PFHCB delivers its 5-day Basic Safety for Fish Harvesters course in communities throughout the province. Marine Basic First Aid is also offered as a stand-alone course, upon request. For more information, or to be placed on a list for upcoming courses, contact the PFHCB at (709) 722-8170

Other Providers of Fisheries-Related/Required training

There are several other NL training providers delivering a variety of safety courses such as First Aid, WHMIS, Committee Training, Confined Space Entry, etc. 


WorkplaceNL offers a certification & training directory of WorkplaceNL-approved courses and providers. It includes detailed information on upcoming course dates. Click here to link to the directory.


Research is vital to any long-term safety strategy, and therefore a key component of the NL-FHSA mandate. Supporting and promoting safety research, partnering/collaborating on safety research initiatives, as well as staying informed on the latest fisheries-related safety research is a priority of the

Training Providers
Prov Training Req
NL-FHSA Led Research Activity


MITACS Accelerate - Improving Fishing Safety in Newfoundland and Labrador

During its consultations with fish harvesters and the development of an industry-needs assessment, the

NL-FHSA identified extreme weather events, noise exposure, and operational stability as three major hazards in the <65' fleet. 

In an effort to learn more about these potential hazards, and reduce fish harvester's exposure to these hazards, the NL-FHSA has partnered with Memorial University's SafetyNet Centre for OHS Research to research these three areas.   

Funding was accessed through MITACS (MITACS is a non-profit, national research organization that funds research and training programs for undergraduate, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows in partnership with universities, industry, and government in Canada).


A description of the completed research, and the intended outcomes are as follows:

  • The Noise Project sought to research, evaluate, and communicate short-term and long-term solutions to reduce noise. The project assessed opportunities to effectively reduce engine noise throughout the vessel, appropriate hearing protection for use in the engine room, and communication headsets on deck. It considered long-term strategies to control the noise at the source—the engine—and opportunities to reduce/dampen noise through vessel retrofits.

  • The Weather Project research sought to create a better understanding of decision-making processes in the planning and execution of fishing trips, the availability of adequate weather forecasting information, and how this information is used by harvesters in their fishing practices. This was necessary in order to move forward with a set of recommendations that harvesters can use to ensure safe operation. Similarly, the project sought to assess the distribution and availability of ports of refuge in Newfoundland & Labrador to help determine if existing ports require improvements, and if additional ports are required to meet the needs of a diverse fishing industry. 22 fish harvesters were interviewed as part of this project. They were asked questions about their vessel, types of fisheries, fishing background, weather and forecasting, ports of refuge, and safety certification, equipment, and training. From the interviews that we conducted, we learned that fish harvesters are savvy consumers of forecast information. They draw from a variety of public and private forecasting services to make decisions about the weather. An interactive plain language map summarizing the research can be found here. Recommendations from the research are currently under development. 

  • The objective of the Stability Project was to develop information that could provide small commercial fishing vessel operators with an understanding of the stability issues that can lead to capsizing and to identify a training approach and related tools that would help reduce stability risks through operation, outfitting, and design specifications.

  • The intended outcomes of this MITACS research project were the development of educational programming, and tools/resources that will help mitigate noise-induced hearing loss, promote and improve stability best practices, and reduce the risk of exposure to extreme weather events. 

MEOPAR Roundtable on Forecast Use in Atlantic Canada - In February of 2016, researchers at Memorial University worked with the NL-FHSA to organize a roundtable discussion on forecast usage as part of ocean climate research funded by the Marine Environment Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) Network. A full copy of the report can be found here. 

Environment and Climate Change Canada: Future Forecasting Tools Development - As part of the university partnerships developed through weather project research and forecasting roundtable, the NL-FHSA invited Senior Meteorologist Devon Telford to present at the 2018 Safety Symposium. Devon Telford presented on possible ways to improve the delivery of marine forecasts, such as wave/sea state hazards and collected feedback from participants. 


SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health & Safety Research: 

SafetyNetThe SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research is a community alliance for multi-disciplinary research, knowledge exchange, and education in OH&S, based at Memorial University. The SafetyNet Centre has a strong history of collaborating with fishing industry partners on fisheries safety research projects.

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