PNI[2020]09--Advisory on Navigating in Fishing Areas in/around Ningbo-Zhoushan Port

Circular Ref No.: PNI [2020] 09

Date: 13 Aug 2020


Subject: Advisory on Navigating in Fishing Areas in/around Ningbo-Zhoushan Port

 

In accordance with Fisheries Law of the People's Republic of China, Regulation of Zhejiang Province on Fishery and Several Opinions of the Government of Zhejiang Province on Restoration and Revitalization of Fishery of Zhejiang, as from August 1st, the fishing ban at the Yellow Sea and the East Sea between north latitude 35°~26°30' has lifted for the fishing boat with several operating types, inclusive of trawlers using spar drag method for shrimp, pots cast method, gill nets method and lighting enclosure (cladding) net method, stretch net fishing and dustpan net fishing. The fishing ban at the above area will be totally lifted on September 16th.

The Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, located in the central and northern part of the coastal area of Zhejiang province, is the "T" intersection for China Yangtze River economic belt and China coastal transport. This intersection is a busy maritime highway, rich in fishery resources, and complex meteorological and hydrological conditions. During the fishing flood season, the average daily flow of all kinds of vessels can be as high as 5,000, and the east-west fishing boats overlap with the north-south shipping routes, increasing the probability of collision incidents.

North-south shipping routes and east-west fishing boats

In order to cope with the risk of collision caused by the increase of navigation density of ships during the fishing season, Ningbo Maritime Safety Administration puts forward the following collision prevention advisories for foreign ships navigating through the waters of Ningbo-Zhoushan:
 
1. Plot a scientific navigating route. When a foreign ship plans to enter the coastal area of Ningbo-Zhoushan, it shall, through the company and the agent, know in advance the fishing area and the operation modes of the fishing vessel, and make a scientific plan based on the surrounding environment, maritime meteorology and tidal current, so as to avoid the concentrated area of fishing vessels as far as possible. For instance, if there is a traffic separation scheme in the transit waters, the traffic separation scheme should be used wherever possible. Where there is no traffic separation scheme, the customary main route at sea should be used wherever possible. As the customary main route at sea has an appropriate distance from the shore and is well-known by the fishermen, very few fishing boats engage in fishing in the waters of the customary main route. Thus, navigating according to the customary main route greatly reduces the chance of encountering with operational fishing boats.
 
2. Foreign ship crews shall be well prepared by understanding as much as possible the fishing methods, the general direction of traffic flow of fishing vessels, and making corresponding plan to avoid collision in advance. To catch the fishing season, fishing boats, frequently overlook the navigation and collision prevention provisions of the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea, 1972after lifting of the fishing ban. Moreover, the fishing boats usually line up when they leave or return to the port, which shows obvious clustering characteristics. Many fishing boats have poor communication equipment and are absent to stand by on VHF during the fishing season.

3. Upon entering the fishing area, the foreign ship crew should strengthen look-out, ensure safe speed and avoid fishing boats in time.
A. In terms of safety look-out, the bridge watch rules should be strictly complied with. In addition to detection by operational radar, a proper look-out by sight with the help of telescope is necessary to make a full appraisal of the actual situation of the sea surface. The Captain shall be invited to maneuvers the vessel on bridge when necessary.
B. During the daytime, pay attention to posts, flags, foam plastics, glass floats or other small buoys that extend fishing gear in and out of the fishing area. At night, pay attention to the corresponding small flashing lights and kerosene lamps.
C. Timely receive safety alert information from the Maritime Administration Authorities, Traffic Control Centers (VTS), coastal radio stations etc.
D. At all times, the vessel shall proceed at a safe speed appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions. When approaching fishing boats concentrated areas, the engine room shall be commanded to standby engine and reduce navigation speed in advance.
 
The following rules for preventing collision should be strictly observed:
a. Early detection of the target to judge the danger, early action to avoid collision.
b. The avoidance actions that should be taken include turning and slowing down, which should be large enough to be easily detected by sight and radar. A series of small turns should be avoided.
c. When the two ships encounter, the distance between them should be ample (The recognition of affluence varies according to circumstances, places and people).
d. The effectiveness of the avoidance action should be verified throughout the collision avoidance process.
 
4. If a close-quarters situation with fishing boats exists, the crew should make a full appraisal of the situation and keep good seamanship to avoid the fishing boat, including all the fishing gear. Once the vessel enters into/crosses the fishing nets, the crew should stop engine immediately to avoid propeller being entangled by fishing nets. When failing to establish communication with the fishing boat, take all effective measures to alert the fishing boat by whistle or signal lights.
 
5. When occurrence or suspected possibility of a collision, the vessel shall take salvage action immediately as is safe and practicable and report to Ningbo-Zhoushan VTS. The report shall at least include the ship’s condition, time and location of the incident, status of damage or pollution, whether salvage is needed and other information related to the incident. The vessel shall also follow the instructions from the authorities.
 
6. Saving the incident data properly. After a collision incident, the master or duty crew should immediately save the VDR data, record the measures taken, including the chart work, main engine operation, salvage operation, reporting, information published.
 
For any inquiry, please feel free to contact our Beijing Head Office or our Ningbo Office.
 
The following information is for reference:
 
The fishing ban period of 2020 at Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East Sea & the north of north latitude 12° of the South China Sea (inclusive of Beibu Gulf) are listed below:

1. The North of north latitude 35° of the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea: from 1200hrs on May 1 to 1200hrs on September 1.
2. The Yellow Sea and the East Sea between north latitude 35°~26°30': from 1200hrs on May 1 to 1200hrs on September 16. The East Sea from north latitude26°30' to the Boundary between Fujian and Guangdong: from 1200hrs on May 1 to 1200hrs on August 16. The fishing ban period for the fishing boat with several operating types, inclusive of trawlers using spar drag method for shrimp, pots cast method, gill nets method and lighting enclosure (cladding) net method, stretch net fishing and dustpan net fishing at the above sea area is from 1200hrs on May 1 to 1200hrs on August 1.
3. The South China Sea from north latitude 12°to the Boundary between Fujian and Guangdong (inclusive of Beibu Gulf): from 1200hrs on May 1 to 1200hrs on August 16.

 

Best regards,

Yu Limin 
President

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