- Luke Pollard MP today welcomes £250k fund to extend the fishing lifejacket scheme
- Marine Safety Action Plan launched today commits to 500 lifejackets and personal locator beacons for UK fishers after lobbying by Plymouth MP
- Government follow example set by Plymouth City Council’s successful lifejacket scheme specially designed for fishers with personal locater beacons
Luke Pollard’s campaign for Government to fund a national roll out of Plymouth’s lifejacket scheme has been a success with Marine Safety Minister, Nus Ghani, announcing a new £250,000 fund for fishers nationwide.
At the launch of the Marine Safety Action Plan, Luke Pollard MP welcomed the announcement that £250,000 will be set aside to extend the fishing lifejacket scheme. The funding will mean an extra 500 lifejackets and personal locator beacons for boats across the UK. A total of £700,000 has also been allocated to provide fishers lifesaving training which Luke had also lobbied for after the loss of Plymouth trawlers Solstice and Laura Jane in the past two years.
The move comes after Plymouth City Council trialled a free lifejacket scheme which was highly successful. Fishing remains one of the most dangerous industries in the UK and it is vital that we provide workers with the safety equipment they need.
Luke has made improving the safety of fishers one of his key campaigns since being elected, and was glad to see the scheme expanded. Luke said:
“Since the sinking of Plymouth trawlers, the Solstice and the Laura Jane, I have been campaigning alongside the City Council and Plymouth fishing community for better safety at sea. Plymouth’s lifejacket scheme is already national best practice but there wasn’t national funding to go with it. That’s why I started the campaign for a national fund to roll this out to fishing communities nationwide.
“I have tabled amendments to the Fisheries Bill, spoken in parliamentary debates, and held meetings with Ministers and officials to build the case for a nationwide extension of Plymouth’s lifesaving initiative. The news that our campaign has been a success is fantastic and will save lives.
“I want to thank the Marine Safety Minister, Nus Ghani, for putting aside party political considerations and adopting my campaign despite me being Labour’s Shadow Fisheries Minister and disagreeing on many other issues. Saving lives should always take precedence over party politics and I warmly welcome the Minister’s announcement.
“£250,000 will provide 500 life jackets specially designed for the fishing industry with personal locator beacons. I want this to be the start of a nationwide roll-out so every single fisher finishing in UK waters wears a lifejacket equipped with a personal locator beacon when they are at sea.”