SKN: Enhancing Fisher’s Safety, Certifying Fishers’ Proficiency

by Aqidah Nurul Wahidah

Just as drivers need a license to drive, fishers need SKN certification to go fishing. This certification ensures that fishers possess the necessary skills and knowledge to go to sea. Specifically aimed at individual fishers with vessels of 1-5 GT and vessel crews up to 30 GT, SKN plays a crucial role in promoting both legal compliance and the safety of those working at sea.

Before obtaining an SKN certification, fishers ideally undergo training and receive guidance on nautical skills. Fishers study about the fundamentals of maritime skills, fishing operations and regulations, fishing areas and seasons, and most importantly, work safety. SKN serves not only a legal requirement for fishers but also as an essential safeguard for their safety while working at sea.

As part of its commitment to responsible fisheries, MDPI actively supports government initiatives aimed at improving fisheries practices. Underlining our social responsibility in fisheries improvement efforts, MDPI facilitates technical guidance through SKN training sessions to fishers in our project sites. We collaborate with instructors appointed by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) in fishing ports’ technical units.

On June 10, 2023, MDPI conducted a technical training and guidance session for fishers to obtain SKN in Kore, Sanggar Subdistrict, West Nusa Tenggara. The event saw the participation of 56 fishers, along several government officials. This training is part of the SKN technical guidance series in eight MDPI working areas, with more than 300 fishers participated to date.

Fishers and government officials demonstrating how to properly use a life jacket.

Subdistrict Chief Ahmad initially had reservations about MDPI’s work in Kore. However, after attending the training and observing MDPI’s dedication to facilitating vessel registration and conducting the SKN training, he expressed his gratitude to MDPI for assisting Kore fishers in completing their legality. Ahmad stated, “After several meetings with MDPI staff in Kore, observing how they facilitated obtaining the small vessel identification (Pas Kecil) and this training, I am thankful for their presence. Hopefully, it can help improve the economy of Sanggar Subdistrict’s fishers.”

Chief officer of Teluk Awang Port Herman explained navigational figures to fishers.

During the training session, officials from the fishery port shared information about the legality and technical aspects of fishing. This included an overview of fishing regulations, the objectives of the training certification, sustainable fishing gear operations, and gear maintenance. They also provided practical guidance about safety at sea, including planning, navigational aids, onboard navigation tools, lights and navigation figures, logbook, and catch record.

Following the training, fishers enthusiastically engaged in a discussion session. They found the training not only informative but also engaging eagerly asking questions and participating in discussions with the experts.

Udin, a fisher from Kore, expressed his opinions on safety on sea.

The training ended with a certification test, with all 56 fishers passing with good scores. A comparison between their pretest and final test results demonstrated a significant improvement in their knowledge of safety at sea and gear operations.

SKN certification is not just a legal requirement; it is a commitment to the safety and competence of fishers. Through comprehensive training and certification, fishers can be empowered with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the challenges of their profession safely and responsibly. This initiative exemplifies a collaborative approach towards enhancing fishers’ safety.