The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has recommended that a notice be issued to all fishermen to highlight best practice when wearing personal flotation devices.
In a report into the death of a fisherman in Galway Bay last year, the board says the Minister for Transport should emphasise the need for life jackets to be worn on top of all other clothing.
It says this is particularly important when it comes to activating Personal Locator Beacons; GPS devices that can help pinpoint the location where somebody is in difficulty.
The MCIB described the death of Patsy Kelly as a very serious marine casualty.
The fisherman from Ballinacourty, near Clarinbridge, had set sail to retrieve lobster pots in the early hours of 7 September last year.
His boat, Loch Corrib II, was noticed in a stationary position off Tawin Island that afternoon and found to be unoccupied, with the engine running.
A search operation was launched and Mr Kelly was found in the water near Salthill later that evening.
The report into the incident says the fisherman, who was in his late 60s, appeared to have suffered from some sort of collapse that caused him to fall into the water.
His PFD operated properly but the locator beacon was not activated.
The report says clothing worn over the flotation device would have hampered the activation.