Fishers’ medicals

Department for Transport written statement – made at on 27 March 2024.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Gower Lord Davies of Gower Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Secretary of State for Transport is today announcing an exemption for fishers from the requirement to hold medical certification for those individuals who currently work on fishing vessels of 10 metres and under in length. This new measure is a sensible and proportionate step that balances our obligation to protect the health of fishers with ensuring they can continue to earn a living in the industry in which some have worked for their entire adult lives. We are pleased to have worked with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on this as a further signal of our united commitment to support the UK’s vital fishing industry.

It is right to seek to ease the regulatory burden on fishers already working on smaller vessels given that they are the most likely to be self-employed or small businesses. An existing fisher is someone who was working on a UK-registered fishing vessel of 10 metres and under for 4 weeks or more during the period 30 November 2021 to 29 November 2023. The exemption will apply to fishing vessels registered in any part of the United Kingdom and will take immediate effect. The requirement for medical certification for fishers joining the industry in the future and for fishers on boats over 10 metres in length will continue to apply.

I will place copies of the Government’s response to the recent public consultation on this matter and the relevant Merchant Shipping Notice in the Library of the House. These are also available on www.gov.uk.