Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found below.

If your question is not answered on this page, please contact Fish Safe directly by email or phone.

+ Q: Do I have to wear a PFD while working if I am a BC commercial fisherman?

Essentially, the answer is yes. Both WorkSafeBC and Transport Canada have specific regulations that stipulate the use of PFDs while working on a vessel under most circumstances. The following links provide the details:


Transport Canada:

+ Q: What is Fish Safe’s relationship to WorkSafeBC (formerly the BC Workers’ Compensation Board)?

Fish Safe is an independent association, governed by a Board of Directors whose members represent BC commercial fish harvesters.

Fish Safe has no role in WorkSafeBC’s regulatory enforcement, collection of insurance assessments, or the provision of worker’s compensation services.

Fish Safe’s work is educational and focused upon reducing the fatalities and injuries experienced within the BC commercial fishing industry.

+ Q: How is Fish Safe funded?

The BC commercial fishing industry provides Fish Safe’s core funding. If you are a commercial fisherman in BC, you are essentially paying for Fish Safe’s services.

The first buyers of fish in BC pay insurance premiums to WorkSafeBC on behalf of fish harvesters. Included in these payments is an amount set aside to fund Fish Safe’s operations as the Health and Safety Association for the BC commercial fishing industry.

+ Q: What does “Fishermen Helping Fishermen” mean?

As explained more fully in our What We Do section, this means that Fish Safe’s programs, courses and materials have largely been designed by seasoned BC commercial fishermen for commercial fishermen working in BC.

Additionally, the vast majority of Fish Safe’s programs including its popular Safest Catch program are delivered by experienced, qualified commercial fishermen who understand the unique working conditions commercial fishermen encounter day in and day out.

+ Q: Where does Fish Safe operate?

Virtually anywhere commercial fishermen work in BC! Fish Safe is responsible for providing assistance to fishermen in the most remote corners of BC.

Each year, Fish Safe allocates substantial funds to ensure our services and safety materials reach as many fishermen as possible – no matter where in BC they are located.

To ensure efficient use of travel funds, Fish Safe works diligently to serve as many fishermen as possible when travelling to remote locations. If you live/work in a remote community and request our assistance we will work closely with you and/or your community to spend adequate time in your location working with as many fishermen as possible.

+ Q: How do I find out what regulatory requirements apply to me?

The regulatory environment for commercial fishermen in BC is complex and ever-changing. Regulations are dependent upon myriad of factors including vessel type, gear type, fishing location, years of experience, etc.

Give us a call or send us an email and we will assist you one-on-one in helping you determine what requirements apply to you.

+ Q: What can I do to help new workers on my vessel know how to be safe?

It is the responsibility of a fishing vessel master to ensure that each crewmember is instructed in the operational characteristics of the fishing vessel and its deck equipment and rigging. Each crewmember must also know the location and proper use of safety equipment.

The master must also ensure that drills are conducted at the start of each fishing season, when there is a change of crew, and at periodic intervals to ensure that crewmembers are familiar with emergency procedures.

The Safest Catch program is specifically designed to give masters/skippers assistance in developing emergency procedures, drills and safety equipment orientation for all crewmembers.