Plan of action for enhanced safety, decent work and social protection in the fisheries sector of the Bay of Bengal Programme region (BOBSAFE)

The marine fisheries sector in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka, the member countries of the Bay of Bengal Programme Inter-Governmental Organisation (BOBP-IGO), plays a pivotal role in advancing their economies and providing livelihoods for millions of fishers. However, the sector also grapples with numerous challenges, including occupational safety conditions and insufficient social protection for fishers. To tackle these issues, the BOBP-IGO, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has developed the Plan of action for enhanced safety, decent work and social protection in the fisheries sector of the Bay of Bengal Programme region (BOBSAFE). This plan addresses the safety of vessels and equipment, underscoring the importance of standard designs and construction plans for fishing vessels. It advocates for vessel registration and licensing; inspection of vessel yards to ensure adherence to safety standards; adoption of international codes and guidelines for fishing vessel safety; provision of decent working conditions and social protection to fishers; formalizing labour contracts; and enhancing search and rescue capabilities. This Plan of action aligns with SDG 1.3 (implementing social protection systems for all), SDG 8 (promoting decent work and economic growth), SDG 5 (achieving gender equality), and SDG 14 (conserving and sustainably using the oceans).