The Cruising Association (CA) has just released a video highlighting the dangers of entanglement with lobster pots as part of its campaign for better marking of static fishing gear.
Afloat.ie has previously highlighted the perils of unmarked pots. On March 16 last year, the Irish government reminded lobster pot fishermen of their obligation to other 'Users of the Sea'.
In one year alone the RNLI has dealt with 295 incidents of fouled propellers. Many incidents go unreported, as shown by the tales of close encounters that have poured in to the Cruising Association (CA) during 2017, possibly a fraction of the actual number.
Introduced by Tom Cunliffe, the new CA video features two experienced yachtsmen describing their frightening encounters: Norman Kean whilst researching updates for Irish pilot books and Steve Williams whilst racing off Anglesey.
The campaign has clearly hit a nerve with the boating public. The CA has received an enormous response from people around the UK and worldwide telling of their experiences with unmarked pots and static fishing gear. More than 6,000 people have signed a petition posted by the CA on the government website calling for consultation with all interested parties on how to address this hazard and make navigation safer for everyone on the water.
The petition is still live and will remain so until the closing date of 12th March.
The CA feels that it is time for everybody with an interest in boating to work together to find a solution, particularly one that is affordable and practical for our fishermen.
See the petition here
Poorly marked lobster pots and fishing gear are the most difficult and unpredictable hazards facing the coastal cruising fraternity. Fishermen too report the loss of expensive gear as a result of entanglements. These encounters can even be life-threatening.
The CA hopes to secure a government consultation about the effectiveness of the current guidance and the merits of enforceable regulations for the whole of the UK