18 June 2009
Forum for oil and gas and fishing industries builds on collaboration to improve mariners' safety
The FLTC welcomed thirty-five senior representatives from the oil and gas and fishing industries as well as the Scottish and UK Governments to a special meeting in Aberdeen on Monday 15 June to learn about the steps taken so far by the Fisheries Legacy Trust Company (FLTC) to improve mariners' safety in UK waters.
Niall Scott, executive chairman of FLTC, said: "Since its launch in 2007, the FLTC has made significant progress in several projects to inform fishermen of seabed structures and equipment related to oil and gas activities on the UK continental shelf (UKCS), and as a result, improve their safety.
"It is imperative that representatives from the oil and gas and fishing industries are well-informed of these developments. Monday's lunchtime forum provided them with the ideal opportunity to learn about the new initiatives and offers a platform for further discussion and collaboration."
Attendees to the meeting learned from Neil Murray of Sea Fish Industry Authority (SFIA) about the new international web portal,www.fishsafe.eu, which provides fishermen and other mariners from the UK and other countries with enhanced information about the location of oil and gas companies' operations in UK waters. The site provides this information in English, French, German, Dutch and Norwegian, assisting in improving the safety of mariners whose first language is not English.
In addition, the way in which the Secretary of States Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) helps to remove or reduce the risk to persons, property and the UK environment arising from marine accidents was explained. Colin Mulvana Deputy to the SOSREP highlighted how the current SOSREP, Hugh Shaw, is co-operating with the maritime, offshore and salvage communities as well as Government departments, agencies and organizations in this pursuit.
Attendees also benefited from updates from Euan Meldrum (Oil & Gas UK), Martin Wadsworth (Common Data Access, CDA) and Niall Scott (FLTC) on wells, trawl sweeps and FLTC projects, such as the development of FishSAFE 2, the unique GPS-based safety device which provides fishermen with audible and visual warnings of seabed obstructions on which fishing nets may become caught.
Pictured from left: Colin Mulvana (Deputy SOSREP), Jim Mckie (Marine Lab), Niall Scott (FLTC), Bruce Stewart (Marine Scotland), Wendy Kennedy (DECC), Neil Murray (Seafish Industry Authority)