16 Aug 2012

Commercial fishing safety plan launched

6:29 pm on 16 August 2012

Commercial fishermen are supporting a Government plan aimed at reducing the industry's high accident and death rate.

The plan launched on Wellington's waterfront on Thursday is the last of five new initiatives targeting the most dangerous industries in New Zealand.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson says 33 fishermen have been killed doing their job in the past decade.

She says it's unacceptable that 7% of the industry's 7000 workers are injured each year - nearly double the accident rate of mining.

The plan will cover the 1700 boats in the domestic fishing fleet.

It introduces a new safety management system and focuses on updating qualifications to improve the competency of the crew.

Wairarapa fisherman Rick Hymers says he supports the plan and hopes it will work.

Maritime New Zealand says the plan will help its inspectors because it pulls together all other safety initiatives in the fishing industry.