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Fish like there is a tomorrow - fish safe.

A web site for the Commercial Fishing Vessel Industry

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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


List of Coast Guard commercial fishing vessel safety examiners across the country
Coast Guard Districts Map

Job Aids

Requirements for Commercial Fishing Vessels
Coast Guard Stability Job Aid, Stability Checklist and Freeing Port Calculator latest updates Sep 2022.
Voluntary Inititives and Good Marine Practices


Disrict 13 YouTube channel
Orion Handheld flare demonstration
SOLAS red handheld MK8 flare demonstration
Electronic Flare (alternative option to traditional flares if operating less than 3nm from shore)

Accident Reports

FV DESTINATION Accident Investigation Report
ALASKA JURIS Accident Investigation Report

Safety Advisories & Notices

Improving Fishing Vessel Stability MSIB 01-21
Findings of Concern - "Impacts of Modifications, Alterations and Weight Creep on Stability"
Crossing Hazardous Bars in the PNW
GMDSS compliance date extended (this only applies to Commercial Fishing vessels greater than 300 Gross Tons)
Marine Safety Alert Oct. 6, 2017 - Vessel Stability - Remain upright by fully understanding vessel stability.
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.
An end to 2182 kHz monitoring by the USCG
Surviving falls overboard
Fatigue is deadly - How to manage it.
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
Updated rules for pumping fuel as cargo (Processors)
Oil Spill Response Plans requirements vsls > 400GT
Fishing Safety Training and Fishing Safety Research Grant programs
Link to the new Coast Guard Headquarters Fishing Vessel Safety Website

Notice: Recording of the Microsoft Teams meeting to discuss Fish Tender Vessels that require a Loadline.

The meeting took place Thursday May 26th. Click here to access the recording of the meeting and related documents for the meeting.

Notice of proposed rulemaking: Electronic chart and navigational equipment carriage requirements

This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) outlines the Coast Guard’s broad strategy to revise its CFR chart and navigational equipment carriage requirements to implement statutory electronic-chart-use provisions. This ANPRM is necessary to obtain additional information from the public before issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking. Click here to access this notice.

News Release - ASTORIA, Ore. --- The Coast Guard issued a warning to mariners and commercial fisherman about the dangers and legal consequences of disabling a vessel's Automated Identification System (AIS).

This warning applies to commercial fishing vessels 65 feet and greater operating inside 12 nautical miles from shore. (Click here to view the news release)

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)

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

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...


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.