AMSA Marine Notice 15/2012
AMSA has established a network of Shipping Fairways off the north-west coast of Australia.
The new Shipping Fairways aim to reduce the risk of collision between transiting vessels and offshore infrastructure. The fairways are intended to direct large vessels such as bulk carriers and LNG ships trading to the major ports into pre-defined routes to keep them clear of existing and planned off-shore infrastructure. A collision in this area could potentially result in significant loss of life and environmental harm.
The new Shipping Fairways are similar to the existing Dampier Shipping Fairway, which was charted in 2007. It has proven to be successful in keeping shipping traffic away from off-shore infrastructure. Such separation is effective in other parts of the world, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico.
Use of the new fairways is strongly recommended but not mandatory. The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 apply to all vessels navigating within or outside the Shipping Fairways. The use of these fairways does not give vessels any special right of way.
The Australian Hydrographic Service (AHS) will incorporate the new fairways in the relevant Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) and new editions of paper charts. These will be available progressively from August 2012 onwards. The AHS will advise by Notices to Mariners when these charts will be available from chart agents.
A small scale diagram of the fairways, indicating their extent, is attached.
Ship owners, operators and agents are urged to obtain and provide copies of charts depicting the new Shipping Fairways to ships operating on the north-west coast of Australia.