Given that the fishing season in the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port area will start soon, the Liberian Registry issued guidance of shipping stakeholders to assist Liberian flagged vessels and provide additional information to assist Master’s in safely navigating highly congested waters off Ningbo-Zhoushan in the East China Sea.
First of all, it is advised that vessels should as far as possible alter the ship’s course to avoid and maintain safe distance from areas with heavy concentration of fishing vessels. Vessel should not cut across areas where fishing vessels are congregated.
Also, when sailing in fishing concentrated areas, each vessel must increase the navigation watch team, placing additional lookouts, maintaining safe speed and with all engines readily available. In close quarter situation, vessel should use ship horn, signaling light, and any means of communication or navigational aid to prevent the risk from further escalation.
Moreover, you have to pay close attention to signal lights of fishing vessels. The vessel should respond in a timely manner to declare that the watch on the bridge have noticed the fishing vessels when the fishing vessel gives flashing light signals to the bridge of the merchant vessel. (at least 5 times generally). When the flash light of the fishing vessel is directed to any of its sides, it indicates that there are fishing nets on that side. The vessel should avoid passing the same side.
When an incident occurs, aside from reporting to the company Designated Person Ashore (DPA), the vessel should report the incident to the nearest China MSA office directly or through the vessel agent and to the Flag Administration.
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