ILO 188 - What is it ?

ILO 188 is new legislation that is with us now and covers everybody working on a fishing vessel. 


Who it applies to

ILO 188 applies to all boat owners and anyone working on fishing vessels of any size, with tougher standards for vessels over 24m in length or operating on longer voyages over 72 hours.


Your next survey will include an ILO inspection where you will be checked on the following




The ILO 188 regulations mean that as a skipper or crewmember on a fishing boat, you will be required to


  • Wear a lifejacket at all times while on deck

  • Hold a Certificate of Medical Fitness

    • ML5 Medical is acceptable for day boats

    • ENG1 is required for crew on all other vessels

  • Hold the correct training certificates

You are also entitled to a written work agreement with the owner, outlining your share and time/method of payment for each individual trip.


Boat Owners

The responsibility for the implementation of ILO 188 regulations falls on the boat owner.


As a boat owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that;


  • All crew are over 16 years old

  • Any crew under 18 years old cannot be employed during school term-time

  • All crew must have a medical fitness certificate.

    • ML5 Medical is acceptable for day boats

    • ENG1 is required for crew on all other vessels

  • All crew have the correct Training Certificates

  • Lifejackets are worn at all times on deck

  • All crew have written work agreements which include details of their share and when and how they will be paid

  • All crew have rest periods as detailed by the regulations

The full list of MCA documents relating to ILO 188 are here, with sample documents to help you. Updated 20th April 2021



A series of workshops will be held in SW fishing ports (Brixham, Mevagissey, Plymouth, North Devon, Dartmouth area, Newlyn) over the coming months, to help you understand and comply with these new regulations.

If you are a boat owner and would like to find out how to manage the new paperwork, call us on 07518 308668 to let us know you'd like to attend one of the workshops.