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Monday, 5 March 2012

A Master Mariner speaks out about fishing on the Indian coast . . .

Identity protected by request. Comments welcome:-

BTW: That article in Moneylife about another incident of loss of fishermen's lives off Kerala - I wish there would be some scathing reportage on the manner in which the fishing boats are allowed to operate. They display lights that are anything but Colreg compliant. They jam VHF frequencies with their ceaseless chatter seriously interfering with watchkeepers concentration and ability to send out/ listen in on safety/distress traffic. They always want/claim right of way - even when they are not engaged in fishing and thus are just power driven vessels. They cut across bows with gay abandon giving heart attacks to young OOW's who may have been given strict CPA's to maintain by Masters in their standing/nigt orders.

There is not a single 'no-fishing' zone established at the entrances by any of the coastal state governments for any of our busy ports. Mumbai port approaches are a nightmare for navigation due to the clutter of fishing boats. The DGS shrugs its shoulders (in reality it has no powers over fishing vessels and near coastal and inland waterways vessels). Coastal admins do not enforce even the basic requirements e.g. radar reflectors, proper nav lights, clear display of registry and name (so that ships can report violations), they do not publicise the means of lodging complaints e.g. contact details and address of office responsible etc - against navigation rule violations.

It's a mess. Those guys getting run over - they asked for it. I have no sympathy for them - having faced inumerable anxious moments myself in my career. All this whine they give about nav lights being costly or radar reflectors or painting their boats brightly (for better visual detection) is bunk. Or claiming that they have the right to impede safe navigation in constrained waters (e.g. port entrance zones) when they clearly know that the freighters too have every right to navigate in safety.


This is the article referred to:-


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