Reducing the numbers of deaths in the fishing industry, keeping people safe on-board ships, and continuing to drive forward greener maritime are all featured in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Business Plan for the coming year.
The Agency continues to focus on maritime safety, pledging to improve how it responds to search and rescue incidents, promising to prioritise safety inspections on domestic passenger ships and fishing vessels.
Fishing safety remains high on the priority list with the MCA determined to work with others including the Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG) towards eliminating preventable deaths by 2027. As one of the most dangerous industries in the UK if not the world, the MCA continues to commit towards reducing those tragic deaths.
With the challenges facing the world from climate change, the MCA will continue to play its part supporting the national and international drive towards zero carbon emissions from shipping.
The UK Maritime Services team has pledged to deliver digitised processes for seafarers including an online certification service by March next year. It has also promised to make sure it offers 95% of candidates an exam at an MCA venue within 21 days of a request in that same time frame as part of its work to transform seafarer training.
Commitment to reducing the frequency of inspections of UK-registered vessels will help maintain the UK’s position as a quality flag in international lists such as the Paris Memorandum of Understanding White List.
Her Majesty’s Coastguard will continue to maintain its high standards by reviewing search and rescue and pollution incidents to look for ways to improve its response. It is also launching a website to help promote safety messages to the wider public.
As part of the continuing commitment to bringing in technology, the MCA is looking to award the contract for the next generation of aviation support for HM Coastguard by March next year.
The MCA’s Chairman, Christopher Rodrigues said: “Maritime safety remains at the forefront of all we do, whether it be rescuing those in need or protecting them as they travel or work on board ships, trawlers, ferries and boats. That and the ongoing commitment to providing sustainable solutions to the real challenge of climate change remain our top priorities.”