The IMO Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 9) took place 6-10 February 2023 in IMO headquarters, adopting amendments related to the training for fishers for enhanced safety at sea.
n particular, the Sub-Committee completed its work to revise and update the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), which was adopted by IMO in 1995. The 1995 STCW-F Convention is a binding treaty that sets certification and minimum training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels with the aim to promote the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment, taking into account the unique nature of the fishing industry and the fishing working environment.
The STCW-F treaty entered into force in 2012, 17 years after its adoption, and IMO agreed soon after to revise the treaty to bring it up to date. The review updates and amends the provisions in the Convention. Competencies have been transferred to an associated new mandatory Code, the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F) Code.
The Sub-Committee agreed to the revised STCW-F Convention and the draft new STCW-F Code, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its 107th session (31 May-7 June 2023) for approval, with a view to subsequent adoption at MSC 108 (to be held in the first half of 2024).
Progress was also made on the finalization of draft guidelines on the medical examination of fishing vessel personnel, which will be completed by the Joint ILO/IMO Working Group on the Medical Examination of Fishing Vessel Personnel, with a view to submission to MSC 108 for approval, in conjunction with the adoption of the revised 1995 STCW-F Convention and the new STCW-F Code. The Joint ILO/IMO Working Group is scheduled to meet in the first quarter of 2024.