A fishermen’s health manual in six languages — English, Irish, Arabic, Malay, Russian, and Spanish — has been launched by Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
The manual has been adapted from a publication, Fisherman First, published by Haynes and funded by Maritime Charities Funding Group in the UK. More than 3,000 fishermen in Ireland have already received the manual, which offers practical advice on keeping healthy at sea and on land.
The BIM adaptation of the publication, has been developed with the support of the Healthy Ireland Initiative.
BIM chief executive Jim O’Toole said the fishing sector is a rewarding and a highly demanding industry.
He said BIM’s focus on sustainability refers not just to the industry per se but to the people who work in the industry.
“This manual is by no means meant to replace professional advice from a medical practitioner,” said Mr O’Toole. “It’s about the promotion of better self-awareness and proactivity among members of the sector when it comes to their physical and mental wellbeing, all of which will help the sector to thrive for generations to come.”
Kate O’Flahery, head of health and wellbeing, said Healthy Ireland welcome the publication, which addresses specific health issues involved in the Irish seafood and fishing industry.
“Fishing is a challenging profession and having access to detailed and practical advice will empower fishermen in Ireland to make changes, and particularly as the guide is accessible in five languages,” she said.
Ian Banks, president of the European Men’s Health Forum, and author of the original UK publication, said all fishing gear comes with a manual. The machinery is tough, it has to be considering the environment in which it has to work.
“Fishermen are also tough for the same reasons but there was no manual for maintenance,” said Mr Banks.