R126 Recommendation concerning the Vocational Training of Fishermen

Geneva, 21 giugno 1966

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Fiftieth Session on 1 June 1966, and
Noting the terms of the Vocational Training Recommendation, 1962, and
Considering that, in application of that instrument, the vocational training of fishermen should be of a standard equivalent to that provided for other trades, occupations and industries, and
Considering further that the basic objectives of the vocational training of fishermen should be:
to improve the efficiency of the fishing industry and to secure general recognition of the economic and social significance of fishing to the national economy;
to encourage the entry into the fishing industry of a sufficient number of suitable persons;
to provide training and retraining facilities commensurate with the current and projected manpower needs of the fishing industry for all the various fishing occupations;
to assist the entry into employment of all trainees after completion of their courses;
to assist trainees in reaching their highest productive and earning capacity; and
to improve the standards of safety on board fishing vessels,
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals regarding the vocational training of fishermen, which is included in the sixth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this twenty-first day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred sixty-six, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Vocational Training (Fishermen) Recommendation, 1966:

I. Scope and Definitions

(1) For the purposes of this Recommendation, the term fishing vessel includes all ships and boats, of any nature whatsoever, whether publicly or privately owned, which are engaged in maritime fishing in salt waters, with the exception of ships and boats engaged in whaling or similar pursuits and fishery research and fishery protection vessels.
(2) This Recommendation applies to all training for work on board fishing vessels.
(3) This Recommendation does not apply to persons fishing for sport or recreation.
2. For the purpose of this Recommendation, the following terms have the meanings hereby assigned to them:
(a) skipper :, any person having command or charge of a fishing vessel;
(b) mate :, any person exercising subordinate command of a fishing vessel, including any person, other than a pilot, liable at any time to be in charge of the navigation of such a vessel;
(c) engineer :, any person permanently responsible for the mechanical propulsion of a fishing vessel, as well as any other person liable at any time to operate and maintain the engines and mechanical equipment of such a vessel; (d) skilled fisherman :, any experienced member of the deck crew working on board a fishing vessel, participating in the operation of the vessel, preparing gear for fishing, catching, loading catch and processing it, and maintaining and repairing nets or other fishing equipment.

II. National Planning and Administration
Planning and Co-ordination

3. In planning a national education and training policy, the competent authorities in the countries possessing or intending to develop a fishing industry should ensure that adequate provision is made in the general network of training facilities for the training of fishermen.
4. Where national circumstances do not permit the development of facilities for the training of fishermen at all levels of skill required, collaboration with other countries, as well as with international organisations, in the development of common fishery training schemes for such skills and occupations as cannot be covered by national programmes should be considered.
(1) The activities of all public and private institutions in each country engaged in the training of fishermen should be co-ordinated and developed on the basis of a national programme.
(2) Such a programme should be drawn up by the competent authorities in co-operation with fishing vessel owners' and fishermen's organisations, with educational and fishery research institutions, and with other bodies or individuals having an intimate knowledge of the vocational training of fishermen. In developing countries in which specialised fishery research or development institutes are established in co-operation with other countries or international organisations, such institutes should play a leading part in the establishment of the national programme.
(3) To facilitate the planning, development, co-ordination and administration of fishermen's training schemes, joint advisory policy and administrative bodies should whenever possible be set up at the national level and, where appropriate, also at the regional and local levels.
6. The competent authorities should ensure that the various agencies and institutions responsible for the dissemination of information on training and employment opportunities, such as primary and secondary schools, vocational guidance and employment counselling services, public employment services, vocational and technical training institutions and fishing vessel owners' and fishermen's organisations, are supplied with complete information on public and private training schemes for fishermen and on conditions of entry into fishing.
7. The competent authorities should ensure that fishermen's vocational training schemes are fully co-ordinated with any other programmes and activities, public or private, related to the fishing industry. In particular, they should make certain that:
(a) fishery research institutions make information on their latest discoveries of practical interest to fishing readily available to training centres and other interested bodies, and through these to working fishermen; where possible, the research institutions should contribute to the advanced training of fishermen, and fishermen's training centres should, as appropriate, assist these institutions in their work;
(b) measures are taken, through the provision of general education prior to or simultaneously with vocational training, to advance the general level of education in fishing communities, to promote greater satisfaction among fishermen and to facilitate the assimilation of technical and vocational training;
(c) arrangements are made, with the co-operation of fishing vessel owners' and fishermen's organisations, in order that, other things being equal, preference may be given in employment placement to persons who have completed a public or private training course;
(d) arrangements are made, with the co-operation of fishing vessel owners' and fishermen's organisations, particularly in developing countries, for trainees completing public and private courses either to enter employment on fishing vessels or, alternatively, to acquire and operate suitably equipped fishing vessels, either individually, or by forming co-operatives for the joint purchase and use of fishing boats, or by any other appropriate means;
(e) the number of trained fishermen corresponds to the number of boats and the equipment available or planned to be available in the country.


(1) Fishermen's training schemes should be systematically organised; financing should be on a regular and adequate basis and should have regard to the present and planned requirements and development of the fishing industry.
(2) Where required, the government should make financial contributions to training schemes carried on by local government or private bodies. These contributions may take the form of general subsidies, grants of land and buildings or of demonstration material such as boats, engines, navigational equipment and fishing gear, provision of instructors free of charge, or payment of fees for trainees.
(3) Training in publicly operated training centres for fishermen should be given without charge to the trainee. In addition, the training of adults and young persons in need should be facilitated by financial and economic assistance of the kind envisaged in Paragraph 7, subparagraphs (3) and (5), of the Vocational Training Recommendation, 1962.

Training Standards

(1) The competent authorities, in co-operation with the joint bodies mentioned in Paragraph 5, subparagraph (3), of this Recommendation, should define and establish general standards for fishermen's training applicable throughout the territory of the country. These standards should be in conformity with the national requirements for obtaining the various fishermen's certificates of competency and should lay down:
(a) the minimum age of entry into fishermen's training schemes;
(b) the nature of medical examinations, including chest X-rays and hearing and sight tests, required for persons entering training schemes; the examinations, particularly the hearing and sight tests, may differ for persons entering deck and persons entering engine courses;
(c) the level of general education which is required for admission to fishermen's training schemes;
(d) the fishing, navigation and seamanship, safety, engineering, catering and other subject-matter which should be included in the training curricula;
(e) the amount of practical training, including time spent in engineering shops and at sea, which trainees should undergo;
(f) the duration of the training courses for the various fishing occupations and the different levels of competency;
(g) the nature of any examinations following the completion of the training courses; and
(h) the experience and qualifications of the teaching staff of training institutions.
(2) Where it is not possible to lay down standards applicable throughout the country, recommended standards should be drawn up by the competent authorities, in co-operation with the joint bodies mentioned in Paragraph 5, subparagraph (3), of this Recommendation, to serve as a guide to the setting of standards which are as uniform as possible throughout the country.

III. Training Programmes

10. The curricula of the various training programmes for fishermen should be based on a systematic analysis of the work required in fishing and should be established in co-operation with the joint bodies mentioned in Paragraph 5, subparagraph (3), of this Recommendation. They should be periodically reviewed and kept up to date with technical developments and should, as appropriate for the functions to be exercised, include training in:
(a) fishing techniques, including where appropriate the operation and care of electronic fish-finding devices, and operation, maintenance and repair of fishing gear;
(b) navigation, seamanship and ship handling appropriate to the sea area and to the type of fishing for which the course is designed, including a proper knowledge of the international Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea;
(c) stowage, cleaning and processing of fish on board;
(d) vessel maintenance and other related matters;
(e) operation, maintenance and repair of steam or internal combustion (gasoline or diesel) engines or other equipment which the trainee may be called upon to use;
(f) operation and care of radio and radar installations which the trainee may be called upon to use;
(g) safety at sea and safety in handling fishing gear, including such matters as stability, effects of icing, fire fighting, water-tight integrity, personal safety, gear and machinery safeguards, rigging safety measures, engine-room safety, lifeboat handling, use of inflatable life rafts, first aid and medical care and other related matters;
(h) theoretical subjects relevant to fishing, including marine biology and oceanography, which will enable trainees to gain a broad foundation for further instruction and training leading to promotion or to transfer to another fishing occupation or another type of fishing;
(i) general education subjects, although this may be provided for to a more limited extent in short courses;
(j) operation, maintenance and repair of refrigeration systems, fire-fighting equipment, deck and trawling winches and other mechanical equipment of fishing vessels;
(k) principles of shipboard electrical power installations, and maintenance and repair of the electrical machinery and equipment of fishing vessels;
(l) health and physical education, especially swimming, where training facilities permit;
(m) specialised courses in deck, engine and other subjects after an introductory period of general fishing instruction.
(1) National standards should, where practicable and appropriate, be established for certificates of competency or diplomas qualifying a person to act as skipper (various grades); mate (various grades); engineer (various grades); fishery technician (various grades); boatswain; skilled fisherman (various grades); cook; or other deck or engine-room personnel.
(2) Training programmes should be chiefly designed to prepare trainees for certification and should be directly related to national certification standards; they should take account of the minimum ages and minimum professional experience laid down by the competent authorities in respect of the various grades of certificates of competency.
(3) Where national certification examinations do not exist or do not exist for the particular duty in question, training courses should nevertheless prepare trainees for particular duties such as those listed above. All trainees successfully completing such training courses should receive a diploma concerning the course followed.
(1) Programmes should be available to train fishermen to perform duties as skippers and engineers of all types of vessels in use in the fishing fleet of the country concerned, including larger distant-water vessels.
(2) Where appropriate to the vessels in use, college-level fishing and navigation courses should be established which are of the same level as merchant navy officers' training programmes but which provide training in subject-matters appropriate to fishing.
13. The duration of the various training programmes should be sufficient to enable trainees to assimilate the instruction given, and should be determined with reference to such matters as:
(a) the level of training required for the occupation for which the course is designed;
(b) the general educational level and age required of trainees entering the course;
(c) the trainees' previous practical experience; and
(d) the urgency of turning out trained fishermen in the country, subject to the maintenance of adequate standards of training.
(1) The teaching staff should consist of persons possessing a broad general education, a theoretical technical education and satisfactory relevant practical fishing experience.
(2) Where it is not possible to recruit a teaching staff with these qualifications, persons with practical experience in fishing and holding appropriate certificates of competency should be employed.
(3) Where it is not possible to recruit a full-time teaching staff with practical fishing experience, persons with satisfactory relevant practical fishing experience should be employed on a part-time basis.
(4) All teaching staff should have an aptitude for teaching and should be given appropriate teacher training by the competent educational authorities.

Pre-Vocational Training

15. In fishing communities, measures consistent with the Minimum Age (Fishermen) Convention, 1959, should be taken to provide pre-vocational training to schoolchildren, including training in elementary practical seamanship, basic commercial fishing techniques and navigational principles, in so far as this is appropriate to the general conditions in the particular country.

Short Courses for Working Fishermen

16. Training courses should be available for working fishermen to enable them to increase their technical skills and knowledge, to keep abreast of improved fishing and navigation techniques, and to qualify for promotion.
(1) Training courses for working fishermen should be specifically designed for the purpose of:
(a) complementing the basic long-term courses by providing advanced specialised training for promotion;
(b) providing training in fishing techniques new to the area; in operating, maintaining and repairing new types of engines or gear; and in making gear where appropriate;
(c) providing all levels of training for fishermen who were unable to participate in a basic long-term training course;
(d) providing accelerated training in developing countries.
(2) The courses should be of short duration and should be considered to be complementary to and not substitutes for basic long-term training programmes.
18. The courses, which may take the form of mobile courses bringing instructors and demonstration equipment to fishing centres, should in particular consist of programmes involving:
(a) evening courses;
(b) seasonal courses offered during stormy months or slack fishing periods; or
(c) daytime courses for which fishermen temporarily leave their work for short periods.
(1) All appropriate measures should be taken to enable working fishermen to attend short courses ashore.
(2) Working fishermen should receive adequate financial compensation for the periods in which they attend short training courses.
20. Where long-term courses and short courses for working fishermen do not meet training needs, particularly in isolated areas, these courses may be supplemented by:
(a) special radio and television courses and programmes providing fishing information;
(b) correspondence courses specially adapted to the needs of working fishermen and arranged for use by study groups with occasional lectures or attendance at training schools;
(c) periodic visits of research workers and extension officers to fishing communities.

IV. Methods of Training

21. The training methods adopted by fishermen's training schemes should be the most effective possible, having regard to the nature of the courses, the trainees' experience, general education and age, and the demonstration equipment and financial support available.
22. Practical training, in which the students themselves participate, should be an important part of all fishermen's training programmes.
(1) Fishing training vessels should be used by all training institutions with programmes for persons entering fishing to provide instruction in fishing techniques, navigation and seamanship, engine operation and other matters. These vessels should conduct actual fishing operations.
(2) Training vessels should, whenever possible, be attached to technical schools providing advanced training.
(1) Demonstration equipment such as engines, gear, fishing-boat models, workshop equipment and navigational aids should be used in training programmes.
(2) Such equipment should be prepared in collaboration with fishery research institutions and should include, whenever possible, the latest gear and navigational aids.
(3) Such equipment should be selected with reference to the gear, boats and engines which the trainees may be called upon to use.
(4) Films and other audio-visual aids, although they may be useful in some cases, should not be a substitute for demonstration equipment in the use of which trainees themselves take an active part.
(5) Visits should be organised for trainees to fishing vessels equipped with modern or special installations, to fishery research institutions, or to fishing centres away from the area in which the school is located.
25. Practical training may also be provided by periods of fishing at sea on board commercial fishing vessels.
26. Theoretical training, including general education, given as part of a training course should be directly related to the knowledge and skills required by fishermen and should, wherever possible, be integrated with the practical training offered.

V. International Co-operation

(1) Countries should co-operate in promoting fishermen's vocational training, particularly in developing countries.
(2) This co-operation, as appropriate, may include such matters as:
(a) with the help of international organisations or other countries, obtaining and training teaching staff to establish and improve fishermen's training facilities;
(b) establishing joint training facilities or joint fishery research institutions with other countries;
(c) making training facilities available to selected trainees or instructor trainees from other countries, and sending trainees or instructor trainees to training facilities in other countries;
(d) arranging international exchanges of personnel and international seminars and working parties;
(e) providing instructors for fishermen's training schools in other countries.

• R117 Recommendation concerning Vocational Training, 27 giugno 1962
• C112 Convention concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment as Fishermen, 19 giugno 1959

Fonte: ILO