Rule 26 - Fishing vessels

(a)     A vessel engaged in fishing, whether underway or at anchor, shall exhibit only the lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule.

(b)     A vessel when engaged in trawling, by which is meant the dragging through the water of a dredge net or other apparatus used as a fishing appliance, shall exhibit:

(i)      two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being green and the lower white, or a shape consisting of two cones with their apexes together in a vertical line one above the other;

(ii)     a masthead light abaft of and higher than the all-round green light; a vessel of less than 50 metres in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such a light but may do so;

(iii)    when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.



(c)      A vessel engaged in fishing, other than trawling, shall exhibit:

(i)      two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower white, or a shape consisting of two cones with apexes together in a vertical line one above the other;

(ii)     when there is outlying gear extending more than 150 metres horizontally from the vessel, an all-round white light or a cone apex upwards in the direction of the gear;

(iii)    when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.



(d)     The additional signals described in Annex II to these Regulations apply to a vessel engaged in fishing in close proximity to other vessels engaged in fishing.

  Annex II has been summarised below:

Shooting nets

white over white

(Flag Z by day)

Hauling nets

white over red

(Flag G by day)

Nets caught on bottom

red over red

(Flag P by day)

Pair trawling

searchlights on water

(Flag T by day)

Purse Seiners

yellow over yellow, flashing alternately

 


These are ‘all-round’ lights at least 900 mm apart. They are carried at a lower level than the fishing lights (ie the green-over-white or red-over-white), and of lesser intensity (but still visible for at least 1 mile).

(e)     A vessel when not engaged in fishing shall not exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed in this rule, but only those prescribed for a vessel of her length.

This rule is often ignored. Vessels often incorrectly show fishing lights when transiting to or from fishing grounds. If you have any doubt however, remember Rule 7(a) ‘If there is any doubt about risk of collision, such a risk shall be deemed to exist’.

 
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