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Under-10 Metre Fleet: Exemptions

Volume 736: debated on Thursday 13 July 2023

15. Whether he plans to exempt fishermen on vessels below 10 metres from medical certificate requirements. (905940)

The requirement for people working at sea to have a medical fitness certificate applies to vessels of every size, in every other commercial sector. However, Ministers are listening carefully to the views of colleagues across the House on the best way to progress this issue and I look forward to the hon. Lady’s follow-up question.

There is real anxiety up and down the country among fishermen as a result of the Government’s policy, which is seen to be expensive and onerous. My constituent Bob is one of those fishermen who has worked on fishing vessels his whole life. I am pleased to hear that the Secretary of State is listening carefully. I hope he will meet fishing representatives to hear their concerns.

Either I or the maritime Minister will be pleased to do that. I hope I can reassure the hon. Member’s constituent that, of the 99 cases that have been through the MCA’s medical assessors, no fisherman has been failed, except one who did not provide the evidence required. She will also know that there are grandfather provisions for those fisherman already in the industry if they obtain their medical certificate before 30 November, and I urge them to do so. If she writes to either me or the maritime Minister, I will make sure that one of us meets her and her constituents.