$5,000 up for grabs in safety video competition for fishers

Ready to cast out the tuna longline.

Commercial fishers are being invited to tap into their creative side and jump onboard with a new video competition offering a $5,000 top cash prize.

“The Fishers Filming Fishers initiative calls on fishers to record themselves or other crew engaged in a safe working practice on their vessel,” said Steve Eayrs, Principal Investigator of SeSAFE, which is running the competition.

“Fishers can film any safe working practice they like, such as wearing protective clothing, the safe use of equipment, or even being involved in a safety drill or induction.”

Fishers are encouraged to be as original and creative as they like with their video submissions, which must be less than 60 seconds.

The SeSAFE project provides training solutions and electronic safety modules for the commercial fishing industry. It is funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Australian commercial fishing industry and Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

“The project wanted to give fishers an opportunity to demonstrate how they ensure their own safety at sea and allow others to see what they are doing,” said Eayrs

Eayrs hopes that fishers will use the videos to take a “fresh look” at their onboard work practices.

I am hopeful that it raises awareness and greater consideration of the risks of working at sea and that, ultimately, this results in improved safety performance.

“If nothing else, I believe this initiative will encourage more frequent conversations about how safe working practice can be improved on their vessels,” said Eayrs.

Ensuring fishers come home

Commercial tuna fishers contribute over $70 million to the annual gross value of Commonwealth fisheries production, totalling around $400 million a year.

Promoting and supporting continued improvement of on-boat safety for commercial tuna fishers remains a priority for the industry, to ensure that fishers come home, and Australian seafood continues to be provided to the public.

The video competition is open to all fishers. Photo by Alaneo Goor.

It is hoped the initiative will help to address some of the safety risks faced by fishers when using mitigation tools to minimise interactions with protected and endangered species.

“While having no formal say on how boat owners or skippers run this aspect of their vessel’s operations, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has always maintained crew safety first and this is evident in the Handling practices guide,” said Wez Norris, CEO of AFMA, the government agency managing Commonwealth fisheries.

“We commend industry in developing this initiative and look forward to seeing the results.”

Tuna Australia is a proud sponsor of the initiative, which accepts entries until 30 July 2022.

“Our industry has a strong commitment to the on-board safety of crew when out at sea,” said Phil Ravanello, Program Manager, Tuna Australia.

For instance, Tuna Australia has partnered with SeSAFE on another initiative to develop safety training learning content for use on digital tablets.

“We have been working to optimise safety video content for tablets distributed to all members for their digital Safety Management Systems. When complete, members will have a one stop shop for crew safety and vessel safety management," said Ravanello.

The top three video entries will receive cash prizes of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.

The winner will also receive a paid trip to the Seafood Directions 2022 conference in Brisbane on 13-15 September 2022, where the winning videos will be screened.

I encourage all our members, skippers and crew to get onboard with the initiative,” said Ravanello.

Other competition sponsors include Australia Bay Seafoods and the Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fishermen’s Association.

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