The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is eyeing the implementation of exclusive rules and regulations for fishing vessels separate from the existing merchant marine regulations. before the end of the year.
MARINA deputy administrator for operations Nanette Dinopol said they would conduct \ more consultations with concerned sectors nationwide, including this city, simultaneously.
The results of the consultations will be integrated into the final draft of the Philippine Fishing Vessel Safety Rules and Regulations that will be submitted to the MARINA board on Sept. 20, she said.
“After approval (by the board), we will have its publication and then formally launch it. The implementation will likely start late this year,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the 20th National Tuna Congress here.
Dinopol said the special regime for fishing vessels will form part of the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP) being formulated by the agency. In particular, it recognizes and includes the fishing industry as a major sector in terms of maritime safety and certification of seafarers.
“Before, we don’t have specific regulations for fishing vessels as far as safety is concerned and they were just merged with the merchant marine regulations. But now, we will have separate rules and regulations for them,” she said.
Dinopol said the agency engaged with the fishing stakeholders, especially the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII) here, in the formulation of the rules and regulations.
She said SFFAII submitted last year its own version of the proposed rules and regulations, which will potentially cover some 11,000 fishing vessels in the country.
Its major provisions include the registration, documentation and licensing of fishing vessels; surveys and certificates; construction, repairs, conversion, rebuilding, stability, machinery installations, electrical installations of vessels; safe manning;
Certification, training and watch keeping for fishermen; tonnage measurement; life-saving appliances; fire protection, fire Extinction and fire safety measures; communications; safety of navigation; occupational safety and health; environment; handline fishing boats; and marine investigation and disciplinary proceedings.
Joaquin Lu, SFFAII president, said they are looking forward to the rollout of the new rules and regulations for fishing vessels.
Lu assured that fishing fleets based in the city are “always compliant” in terms of the safety requirements.
“We lobbied for this for a long time. There’s really a need to set separate rules for our boats from those of bigger vessels since our operations also have specific needs,” he said. (PNA)