Safety at Sea Training for Fair Trade Fishers

5 Jun 2015
Indah Rufiati

It’s been a busy month…

Last month MDPI held a new round of Safety at Sea & First Aid Training for Fisher Associations from the Fair Trade projects in Maluku. The training was held as a part to comply with the Fair Trade compliance criteria related to the ‘Occupational Health & Safety standard’ section of the standard. The training was held on 29 and 30 April, 2015 in 5 locations on Buru Island and Seram Island, attended by 313 fishers, all who are engaging in Fair Trade Program.

For this training, MDPI worked with the National Search and Rescue team from Maluku Province where they send 8 certified trainers to conduct the following sessions: Basic Navigations for Fisherman, Survival Techniques at Sea and First Aid Training.

Navigation: Most of the fishers have a basic compass which they use mainly to direct their way back home after a trip. The story is very common that they get off track from their journey, perhaps waste a lot of fuel mainly due to not checking their compass properly. In this training, the fishermen were encouraged to check their compass more regularly and they also learned about how to maximize the usage of compass by learning how to calculate back azimuth. In the navigation training the fishers also introduced to GPS and how to use it. The fishers were excited and started inquiring where and how to buy GPS – suggestions were made that the Fair Trade premium fund should be used to buy GPS units for everyone.

Survival Techniques at Sea: the fishers were trained on how to stay alive when they have trouble in the sea: usage of life jackets, floating techniques, preparedness in doing self-rescue, how to fight dehydration and how to break away from the current and stay alive until rescue teams arrive in the case of an accident or issue arising at sea.

First Aid Training: the fishers were taught a range of skills from simple bandaging and repairing of open soft tissue wounds to more complicated CPR techniques. They also learned how to assure life signals in the case that they found their fellow fishers passed out, do’s and don’ts in moving a victim’s body to minimize the injuries, technique in dressing injures caused by sharps objects and guidelines to deal with fractures and how to cease bleedings.

At the same time, the Search and Rescue Trainers reminded the fishers to follow the safety routine before they go fishing by informing the departure to family or friends and to check the weather condition.

By having this knowledge, we expect that it can hinder Fair Trade fishers from being lost at sea due to minimum knowledge of navigations and prepare them if accidents at sea happen.  MDPI are encouraging them to have safety gear on their boat and to potentially invest their Fair Trade premium fund to purchase safety gear.

Happy (and safe) people, Many fish! 🙂

Writer: Yasmine Simbolon

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