The Government response to the Lobster Pots and Small Craft Safety – time to change the rules! Petition is as follows:-
The Government takes safety at sea seriously. The UK has regulations in place regarding the marking of fishing gear. We are looking at areas in which the enforcement of regulations can be enhanced.
The UK has clear rules in place regarding the marking of all fishing gear. Council Regulation (European Commission) No. 1224/2009 outlines the rules applicable to all fishing vessels using passive (static) gear to mark fishing gear so that it is clearly identifiable. Further to this, the detailed rules for implementing this regulation outline the requirements for marker buoys to ensure visibility.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertake the enforcement of this regulation within England’s Exclusive Economic Zone (0-200 nautical miles) and have the power to investigate and take action. The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) have regional responsibilities within inshore waters (6 nautical miles). In instances where non-compliance is found, the master, owner or charterer of a fishing vessel may be fined or prosecuted for unmarked or poorly marked gear.
The government is looking at areas in which the enforcement of regulations can be enhanced. We have met with the Royal Yachting Association who have developed an online reporting form to allow fishers and boaters to identify any incident involving fishing gear. The collection of data from this process may help identify any potential solutions.
The RYA Fishing Gear Incident Reporting Form can be reached at: www.rya.org.uk/go/entanglements
Further information on the marking of gear can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/marking-of-fishing-gear-retrieval-and-notification-of-lost-gear
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In Addition I have received an e-mail from Ian Wilson CBE of the Cruising Association which reads as follows:-
I thought I should let you know how valuable your video has proved.
I trimmed it so that I could use it at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fisheries as an interesting ‘spot that hazard’ game. Of course, despite it being projected on a large screen, they were all much too slow to spot the hazard, let alone make the decision (which I asked them to indicate by raising their left or right hand) as to which way to turn.
I am sure that this contributed, at least in part, to the warm welcome given to my presentation about this issue of small craft safety.
Many thanks to RSMYC on behalf of the Cruising Association.
I will be using the same version in my presentation to the UK Safety of Navigation Committee on Thursday and will, of course, credit RSMYC for the footage.