Further Actions Wanted to Enhance Coast Guard’s Business Fishing Vessel Security Efforts






The U.S. Coast Guard hasn’t absolutely carried out the vast majority of key statutory necessities designed to enhance fishing vessel security which have been enacted during the last decade, a brand new report by the unbiased Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) has discovered.

The GAO’s examine was meant to look at Coast Guard efforts to enhance industrial fishing vessel security, implement associated key statutory necessities enacted between 2011 and 2021, and incorporate key efficiency evaluation steps for its industrial fishing vessel security program.

Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial fishing has one of many highest business loss of life charges within the U.S. One other Coast Guard evaluation confirmed a median of 43 vessel losses and 22 fatalities per yr from 2011 by 2020. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 established new security necessities, comparable to obligatory dockside exams, for sure vessels and coaching for vessel operators. Further legal guidelines addressing industrial fishing vessel security had been enacted in 2012, 2016, 2018, and 2021 that both amended the security necessities within the 2010 act or added new necessities.

The Nationwide Transportation Security Board has additionally made enhancing fishing vessel security a prime precedence nd a problem on the NTSB’s 2021-2022 Most Wished Checklist of Transportation Security Enhancements.

Whereas right here have been a number of industrial fishing vessel security necessities enacted since 2011, the GAO discovered that the overwhelming majority have but to be full carried out by the U.S. Coast Guard, which is the principal federal company for making certain marine security.

The GAO report concluded that the whereas the Coast Guard does make efforts to advertise industrial fishing vessel security, together with by conducting dockside exams, partaking with business, and collaborating with different federal businesses, it has but to totally implement 17 of twenty-two statutory necessities enacted over the 10-year timeframe.

Among the many 22 necessities, 5 associated to numerous elements of business fishing vessel security (e.g., gear, coaching, exams) have been absolutely carried out. The Coast Guard indicated it doesn’t intend to implement one requirement associated to the event of alternate security requirements for older fishing vessels due a perceived lack of authority, which the GAO discovered was false.

In June 2016, the Coast Guard issued a proposed rule supposed to deal with 9 of the opposite 16 excellent necessities. Nonetheless, as of August 2022, the rule had not been finalized and the Coast Guard had no detailed plan for implementing the necessities. It appears the Coast Guard doesn’t have an in depth plan to information their efforts to totally implement the excellent statutory necessities, both.

“Growing and implementing alternate security requirements for older vessels and growing a plan with time frames for implementing the opposite 16 necessities would assist to deal with the Coast Guard’s statutory obligations and assist efforts to stop fishing vessel losses and associated fatalities,” the GAO stated.

Lastly, whereas the Coast Guard has established strategic objectives and efficiency objectives for its industrial fishing vessel security program, it has not absolutely integrated different key efficiency administration practices comparable to establishing efficiency objectives that absolutely tackle all elements of its strategic objectives, setting reasonable targets for its efficiency objectives, and utilizing efficiency knowledge to evaluate progress in direction of program objectives.

“Absolutely incorporating such practices might assist the Coast Guard higher assess program efficiency and tackle any efficiency points,” the GAO stated.

Consequently, the GAO is making six suggestions to the Coast Guard, together with to implement alternate security requirements for older vessels, develop a plan with time frames to implement the opposite excellent statutory necessities, and absolutely incorporate key efficiency administration practices.

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