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Fish like there is a tomorrow - fish safe.

A web site for the Commercial Fishing Vessel Industry

Commercial fishing vessels that operate on the ocean, Great Lakes, or the Puget Sound beyond 3 miles from shore must get a mandatory exam.

Generate a checklist for your particular fishing vessel using our checklist generator and pass your exam on our first visit.

Quick links

Coast Guard Districts Map
GMDSS compliance date extended (this only applies to Commercial Fishing vessels greater than 300 Gross Tons)
FV DESTINATION Accident Investigation Report
Findings of Concern - "Impacts of Modifications, Alterations and Weight Creep on Stability"
Fishing Safety Training and Fishing Safety Research Grant programs
Link to the new Coast Guard Headquarters Fishing Vessel Safety Website
Marine Safety Alert Oct. 6, 2017 - Vessel Stability - Remain upright by fully understanding vessel stability.
Voluntary Inititives and Good Marine Practices
Marine Safety Alert Aug. 17, 2016 - Coast Guard releases reminder to trawlers and other vessel that work the ocean floor about discarded munitions.
Marine Safety Alert Aug. 9, 2016 - Reminder about hazardous atmospheres in holds
Marine Safety Information Bulletin July 20, 2016 - Suspends development of Alternate Safety Complaince Program (ASCPs) for voluntary safety guidelines.
NOAA equipment in the Puget Sound and Straight of Juan de Fuca could cause gear entanglement.
Latest info on Engineers License Requirements
Asst Engineers extended deadline... again
New construction requirements
An end to 2182 kHz monitoring by the USCG
Surviving falls overboard
Fatigue is deadly - How to manage it.
Updated rules for pumping fuel as cargo (Processors)
Oil Spill Response Plans requirements vsls > 400GT

Coast Guard releases an update of the Federal Requirements for Commercial Fishing Vessels pamphlet

(Click here to view the pamplet)


The U.S. Coast Guard is Seeking Information Related to the Accident of the F/V SCANDIES ROSE

The Marine Board of Investigation has released a flyer asking for information about the vessel (Click here to view the flyer)

The Coast Guard Releases Guidance on Improving Safety by Ensuring Vessels Maintain a Valid Decal.

A commercial fishing vessel that has an expired decal (2 years from issue date) and was ...

1) built before July 1, 2013,

2) are at least 50 feet overall in length, and

3) operate beyond 3 nautical miles from the baseline from which the territorial seas of the United States is measured or beyond 3 nautical miles from the coastline of the Great Lakes.

Are considered a High Risk Vessel. These vessels should get and maintain a valid decal. (Click here to read the guidance)

We have collected a list of COVID-19 guidance from around the country with applicability to commercial fishing vessels and the seafood industry.

(Click here)

The 13th Coast Guard District in Seattle WA released a Marine Safety Information Bulletin on crossing hazardous bars in the Pacific Northwest.

Recent marine casualties highlight the challenges of attempting to cross the bars in the Pacific Northwest in heavy weather and at night. The marine casualty of a commercial fishing vessel on the Coos Bay bar resulted in loss of a vessel, but miraculously all three crewmembers were saved. Unfortunately, in a similar marine casualty on the Yaquina Bay bar, the crew was not as fortunate which resulted in the loss of all three members of the crew and the vessel. (Click here)

Coast Guard releases the latest guidance (work instruction) for 3rd party organizations authorized to conduct commercial fishing vessel safety examination.

This work instruction (WI) clarifies and consolidates existing Coast Guard Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety (CFVS) Program requirements related to dockside safety examinations and Third Parties that conduct such examinations. (Click here)


The FCC has released an Enforcement Advisory to users and sellers of Automatic Identification System (AIS) for fishing gear.

Anyone advertising or selling noncompliant AIS for fishing net buoys or other noncompliant AIS devices should stop immediately, and anyone owning such devices should not use them. Sellers, advertisers, and operators of noncompliant AIS equipment may be subject to substantial monetary penalties. ... See FCC Enforcement Advisory


The Coast Guard authorization act of 2018.

The act has several issues that are of interest to our commercial fishing vessel partners as follows: You can access the document at ...

Under TITLE - V - Maritime Transportation Safety

  • Section 502 ENGINE CUT-OFF SWITCH REQUIREMENTS [for RECREATIONAL VESSELS]: New requirements for installation on rec boats less than 26ft and capable of developing 115 pounds of thrust. There is a recommendation to initiate boating safety program on the use and benefit of the switches.
  • SEC. 504. EXCEPTION FROM SURVIVAL CRAFT REQUIREMENTS [for COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSELS]: Permits the use of the "auxiliary craft" as a substitute for a survival craft.
  • SEC. 505. SAFETY STANDARDS [for COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSELS]: Extends dockside exams to up to 5 years "but may require an exam at dockside very 2 years for certain vessels...if requested by the owner / operator."
  • SEC. 506. SAFETY GRANTS ]: Several changes to dates.
  • SEC. 507. FISHING, FISH TENDER, AND FISH PROCESSING VESSEL CERTIFICATION [for COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSELS]: Significant change to the application of rules to this class of vessels.
  • SEC. 508. DEADLINE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH ALTERNATE SAFETY COMPLIANCE PROGRAM [for COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSELS]: No later than Jan 1st, 2020, the Secretary of DHS must issue a report on the implementation of ASCP. The clause "developed incooperation with the commercial fishing industry" has been removed also.
  • SEC. 511. CLARIFICATION OF LOGBOOK ENTRIES. Permits electronic version of the official logbook
  • SEC. 512. CERTIFICATES OF DOCUMENTATION FOR RECREATIONAL VESSELS. New rule to allow recreational vessels to extend documentation expirations to up to 5-years. There will be a 3-year phase in period starting on Jan 1, 2019.
  • SEC. 515. SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL. Removes age as a determining consideration for Scientific Personnel. The Auth Act language is actually referring to Section 2101 (31) of title 46.
  • SEC. 830. COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSEL SAFETY NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS PLAN: The CCG must develop a plan to better communicate and disseminateinformation.
  • SEC. 835 and SEC 836 VESSEL WAIVER [for COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSELS]: DHS can issue a COD with the Coastwise and Fisheries endorsement for AMERICA'S FINEST, with extensive caveats.

Oily bilge water management - The practice of decanting / skimming is prohibited.

Decanting or skimming is the practice of pumping bilge water from below any perceived oil or sheen on the bilge water's surface. This bulletin describes the law of both the Clean Water Act and the Act to Prevent Pollution from ships (APPS). MSIB 03-18.


Falling overboard is the 2nd leading cause of death among commercial fishermen.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a video telling the story of Stan, an Oregon Dungeness crab fishermen, who fell overboard and survived, crediting his survival to the life jacket he was wearing.

KIDDE FIRE EXTINGUISHER WITH PLASTIC HANDLE, RECALL - Enforcement, examination, and inspection procedures..

The US Coast Guard distributed internal guidance for enforcement, examination, and inspection procedures for the Kidde fire extinguisher recall. Read guidance...

Marine Safety Alert - Be aware of 3rd party service providers offering to provide vessel documentation services.

The U.S. Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) is aware that there are commercial entities that offer to manage the certification/renewal process on behalf of vessel owners for a fee. The Coast Guard does not endorse any of these companies, and the companies do not operate on behalf of the Coast Guard in any way.

The Coast Guard has released this Marine Safety Alert.

Fatigue - it'll bite you.

The Washington State, Department of Ecology has just released their website on the dangers of fatigue and commercial fishing vessel operations.

Listen to a real story of how fatigue cost a commercial fishermen his boat and nearly his life, and get tips for reducing fatigue and helping prevent oil spills.

Fire Extinguisher recall.

This marine safety alert provides information related to Kidde brand fire extinguishers. Nearly 40 Million extinguishers involving 134 different models have been recalled. These fire extinguishers were manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white, and silver cylinder colors and are rated as either ABC or B.

Fishing Vessels chartered by the NMFS as an oceanographic research vessel.

There has been a lot of concern that the Coast Guard is changing the rules for fishing vessels chartered to do research work. The official word from our headquarter office is that there is no change. Read more...

2016 new requirement for VHF Radios with Direct Selective Calling (DSC)

By January 20th 2016, all commercial fishing vessels 300GT and greater must replace existing VHF radios with VHF radios with (DSC) capability. View Public Notice.

Vessel operating only in Alaska waters are exempt from this requirement (see the Public Notice to learn more about this requirement)

The DSC radio must be programmed with the Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number and vessel information. When connected to a GPS these new radios can send the vessels location automatically. Vessels that are not required to have a GPS are not mandated to have one in order to make that feature on the radio functional. Many vessels do have a GPS or plotting system and it is recommended that the proper connection to the DSC be made if possible.

When is my vessel a commercial fishing vessel?

Whether your vessel is US documented or state registered, if you catch fish with the intent to sell your catch, you are operating a commecial fishing vessel. Commercial fishing vessels are required to comply with the commercial fishing vessel safety regulations. These requirments are different from those for a recreational vessel. Documented (not state registered) vessels must have documentation paperwork that has a "Fisheries endorsement".

Click here to visit the Dockside Examinations page and use the "Checklist Generator" to obtain a checklist for your particular vessel and operations.