Joint statement from Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Seafish


27 September 2019
Seafish will be withdrawing from providing marine survey services in July 2020 following a decision by its Board to terminate its agreement with the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Seafish has been surveying and certificating fishing vessels on behalf of the MCA for sixty years and currently employs a small team of marine surveyors to deliver this service throughout the UK. However, Seafish considers that over the years the size of the service has been reduced to a level that it now lacks the ‘economies of scale’ to support such a service. Organisations delivering a similar service (MCA and Lloyds Register) have ’surveying’ as a core function alongside all the necessary support services, such as risk and audit teams and in-house legal expertise.
The decision to withdraw from this service also reflects a growing recognition that the work of Seafish is evolving and that its marine survey work is significantly different to its more regular knowledge-based services.
Seafish will continue to carry out inspections on new fishing vessels (under 24m in length) that are being built to its construction standards and to certify them for commercial use in the UK, until July 2020. Seafish is currently notifying all boatyards and existing contract holders of these changes.
Seafish and the MCA are working collaboratively to transition the service to the MCA and are focused on ensuring that the fishing industry continues to receive a robust and consistent service. Further details of these transition arrangements will be communicated in the coming months but in the meantime vessel owners and boatyard operators should continue to work directly with Seafish. Both organisations remain committed to improving safety for fishermen at sea and will continue to work in partnership on other projects. 

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