Since the 1980s IMO has increasingly addressed the people involved in shipping in its work. In 1989, IMO adopted resolution A.647(16) on Guidelines on management for the safe operation of ships and for pollution prevention - the forerunner of what became the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which was made mandatory through the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS).
The ISM Code is intended to improve the safety of international shipping and to reduce pollution from ships by impacting on the way ships are managed and operated by the shipping companies. The ISM Code establishes an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for the implementation of a safety management system (SMS).
Effective implementation of the ISM Code should lead to a move away from a culture of "unthinking" compliance with external rules towards a culture of "thinking" self-regulation of safety - the development of a “safety culture”, with every individual - from the top to the bottom - feeling responsible for actions taken to improve safety and performance. Application of the ISM Code should support and encourage the development of a safety culture in shipping.
In 1995, IMO adopted the Guidelines on implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code by Administrations by resolution A.788(19). Revised guidelines were adopted by resolution A.913(22) in 2001, and subsequently by resolution A.1022(26) in 2009, which were replaced by a further revision adopted by resolution A.1071(28) in 2013. These revised guidelines have been revoked by resolution A.1118(30) with effect from 6 December 2017.
The safety and security of life at sea for fishing vessel personnel are also a matter of concern of IMO, which recognises the need for a response to the safety crisis of the fishing industry and has a number of instruments addressing the issue. One of those instruments is the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), 1995, which was adopted by IMO in 1995, and was intended to bring considerable benefits and advantages to the fishing industry and enhancing the standard of safety in the fishing vessel fleets.
The 1995 STCW-F Convention apply to crews of sea going fishing vessels, generally of 24 meters in length and above and/or powered by main propulsion machinery of 750 kW propulsion power or more. The Convention is the first attempt to make standards of safety for crews of fishing vessels mandatory internationally and entered into force on 29 September 2012.
The 1995 STCW-F Convention is currently being comprehensively reviewed by the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping in order to align the standards of the Convention with the current state of the fishing industry, and to make available an effective instrument, which will contribute to addressing the significant challenges of this sector.
( To be continued)