MP urges fishermen to take part in consultation on medical exemptions for crews operating on vessels 10 metres and under

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid

DAVID Duguid has urged fishermen to take part in an industry-wide consultation to explore medical exemptions for crews operating on vessels 10 metres and under.

The Banff and Buchan MP has been in discussions with the UK Government to highlight concerns about the impact of medical certificates on lone workers and small businesses around the North East coast.

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In November 2023, regulations came into effect requiring fishermen working on small UK-flagged vessels to have a certificate of medical fitness.

The UK Government, which already grants concessions for factors such as eyesight, diabetes and BMI, has worked to support those who can still fish but would otherwise be unduly forced ashore.

Mr Duguid has welcomed the consultation which he says will allow ministers to implement medical exemptions in a fairer manner, so the livelihoods of small-scale fishermen aren’t severely impacted.

The blanket exemption from holding a valid medical certificate would only apply to those who can show they worked on vessels of 10 metres and under for at least 4 weeks between November 30, 2022 and November 30, 2023.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said: “I welcome this consultation which will play a crucial role in shaping the final decisions and ensuring a balanced approach to medical fitness requirements.

“In the run up to the new regulations in November, I had already fed back concerns from fishermen to the UK Government about the impact of these medical certificates, particularly on our lone fishermen on smaller vessels.

“I’m therefore delighted that UK Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper MP, has commissioned the Marine and Coastguard Agency to conduct a consultation on how best to improve safety but without forcing small-scale fishing operations under 10m out of business.

“I encourage all fishermen across the North East to take part in this consultation, particularly if they are in favour of the proposed exemptions, to maximise the chances of them being implemented.”

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