ILO 188 Marine Notice 42 of 2019

ILO 188


Marine Notice 42 of 2019 has implemented ILO 188 as of the 15th of November 2019.

ILO 188 entitles all fishermen to written terms and conditions of employment (a fisherman’s work agreement), decent accommodation and food, medical care, regulated working time, repatriation, social protection and health and safety on board. It also provides minimum standards relating to recruitment and placement and includes a mandatory requirement to have a certificate of medical fitness to work onboard a fishing vessel.

The Application provides compliance benefits for both the Owner of the fishing vessel but also the crew members.

Work Time records and Rest Hours

The ILO 188 convention uses the same formula to calculate adequate rest hours as is contained in S.I. No. 709/2003 – European Communities (Workers on Board Sea-Going Fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003. It is going to be necessary for owners and skippers to ensure they can prove compliance.

What is clear is that the current rest hour logs are not sufficient.

Crew Agreement

A Crew agreement is required for each fisher and they are to be afforded the opportunity to get advice on this.

Minimum Age

While there is a derogation as to the minimum age in certain circumstances, ILO 188 envisages the minimum age to be 18.  The age can, in circumstances be as low as 14 or 16 but there is not explicit provision contained in the Marine Notice as to how this would work.

Medical Certificate for Crewmembers

A new requirement will be a Medical certificate of 1 years duration for each and every crewmember. The medical certificate will specify that the fishers hearing and sight are acceptable and there is no underlying condition which would render the fisher unfit.

Provision of a qualified First Aid Provider

Fishing vessels have at least one fisher on board who is qualified or trained in first aid and other forms of medical care. Again, the system will be able to identify that person and attached to their file will be the qualification or certificate demonstrating compliance with this requirement.

Recording of Provision of Training

Another new requirement training and equipment for all crew members specific to the vessel. Further training based on the type of fishing gear etc being used, will also have to be logged and recorded.

Compulsory Insurance

Insurance will become compulsory to cover injury or death of a fisher. The Irish fishing Industry for commercial and historic reasons (such as finance from Banks) already has compliance under this heading.

Dispute resolution

Owners will have to have such a mechanism in place for both share fishermen and employees. This should be in the form of a formal policy handed to each person on board no matter how long they were on board.


All the Provisions apply to share fishermen.

Dermot Conway