ILO Work in Fishing Convention

All notices in relation to the International Labour Organization's Work in Fishing Convention (ILO 188).

The International Labour Organization’s Work in Fishing Convention (ILO 188) came into force internationally on 16 November 2017.

The UK government made legislation to implement ILO 188 in November 2018, and ratified in January 2019.

ILO188 applies to all fishermen working on fishing vessels of any size, with more prescriptive standards for vessels over 24m in length or operating on longer voyages, three days or more.

ILO188 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.

Details of arrangements for the survey, inspection and documentation of compliance for fishermen’s living and working conditions on UK fishing vessels under ILO188 are provided in MSN 1885(F) ILO Work in Fishing Convention Survey and Inspection

The majority of the ILO 188 work in fishing convention was phased in between the 31 December 2018 and 30 November 2019.

Home and Dry Campaign

Find more safety information from the Fishing Industry Safety Group (chaired by the MCA) by visiting the Home and Dry website.

The Home and Dry website from the Fishing Industry Safety Group is aimed at fishermen and offers safety information and resources.

Visit the site to access sea safety training, guidance and technical expertise to make fishing safer and help you to comply with the ILO188 Work in Fishing Convention.

ILO 188 statutory instruments

SI2018/1106 The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) Regulations

SI2018/1107 The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) (Survey and Certification) Regulations

SI2018/1108 The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) (Medical Certification) Regulations

SI2018/1109 The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) (Consequential Provisions) Regulations.

Phased in as outlined.

ILO 188 Guidance

M-Notices regarding ILO 188

Published 23 November 2018
Last updated 20 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated collection to include latest merchant shipping notice amendments and Work in Fishing Convention guidance.

  2. Model fisherman's work agreements added

  3. Updated to include, MGN 596 helping to improve the management of safety on fishing vessels.

  4. Updated to included MGN 583 (F) ILO work in fishing convention fishermen's work agreements (FWAs).

  5. Updated to include MGN 588 (F) ILO work in fishing convention compulsory provision and wearing of personal flotation devices on fishing vessels.

  6. First published.