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Old 09-09-2017, 04:28   #1
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Poorly marked lobster pots

Hi All,
Here in the UK around the East Coast we have many poorly marked lobster pots, mostly only using any old 5L plastic can to mark them, and often trailing floating recovery lines. These are difficult to see, and a real hazard to any boat.
The RYA is trying to bring this issue to the fore and get something done about it, as is the CA I believe. ( http://www.theca.org.uk/CA-lobster-pot-campaign )
If you see poorly marked pots in the UK, or suffer an entanglement please report it via the RYA website:

Fishing Gear Incident Reporting Form | Look After Yourself | Safe Boating | Safe Boating | Knowledge & Advice | Knowledge & Advice | RYA

I understand that fishermen are trying to make a living, but their activities when unprofessional are a hazard, and if they will not take a responsible approach then legislation is the only way ahead. Please report any poorly marked pot/tackle markers.

A petition did start, but the General Election got in the way and the petition was cancelled. Hopefully it will get under way again soon.
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:57   #2
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

No matter how well marked, if they don't have a light, you won't see them on a dark night.

I've about decided there's nothing to do about them besides keeping as sharp a watch as you can, rope cutter on the prop, and prayer.

I hit them from time to time. In May, on a dark night, caught one off Brighton with a stout line between two floats -- as if designed to catch passing boats. My rope cutter protected my prop, but the rope got into my rudder, and we spent hours getting it out. It was in a narrow pass behind Brighton and the new Rampion wind farm -- poor choice of a place to lay pots, considering inshore traffic is funneled right through there by the poorly placed wind warm.

Probably there needs to be a standardized marker for them with a dan pole and light. Shouldn't be all that expensive. Do we dare dream that they might someday broadcast AIS?

In Swedish and Danish waters, they sometimes have RADAR REFLECTORS. Now that is high class!
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:16   #3
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

A miniaturised AIS transmitter, solar-powered, incorporated in a large orange buoy with a flag and light shouldn't be beyond the wit of someone, surely? They would need to be registered somewhere, which creates bureaucracy. If made compulsory, the cost would tumble, as they would be required in large numbers.
AIS clutter would be a problem, though, so perhaps one AIS in every string would work.
Perhaps for enforcement there could be 'pot monitors' who would have the ability to recognise illicit pots and report them, or perhaps even lift them. Large-scale enforcement would be very costly.
Perhaps we could set up a well-trained and authorised organisation whose sole purpose is the care and enforcement of regulated coastal waters. It might be called the Coastguard. Oh, wait...
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:06   #4
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

We have a similar issue with crab pots in the PNW. Nearly as difficult is the proliferation of folks out fishing. Just finished a trip and the leg home was mostly in dense fog and light rain. None of the fishermen were AIS equiped. It was a regular game of dodge ball. There was no wind which was a sort of blessing. If I had been tempted to sail it would have been even more trouble. We missed them all but it took radar, AIS,GPS and careful watch keeping to stay safe.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:19   #5
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

[QUOTE=Yellowtulip;2474447]A miniaturised AIS transmitter, solar-powered, incorporated in a large orange buoy with a flag and light shouldn't be beyond the wit of someone, surely? They would need to be registered somewhere, which creates bureaucracy. If made compulsory, the cost would tumble, as they would be required in large numbers.
AIS clutter would be a problem, though, so perhaps one AIS in every string would work.[QUOTE=Yellowtulip;2474447]

I doubt if clutter will be a problem, certainly not if there is a special icon for pot markers. Should be a special low power short range protocol. I doubt if such a device would be expensive at all, and would bring several significant benefits to the fishermen -- less lost pots, less pots run over and damaged, easier to locate them, less confusion with pots of others. I would think that this would really be a win-win-win situation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowtulip View Post
Perhaps for enforcement there could be 'pot monitors' who would have the ability to recognise illicit pots and report them, or perhaps even lift them. Large-scale enforcement would be very costly.
Perhaps we could set up a well-trained and authorised organisation whose sole purpose is the care and enforcement of regulated coastal waters. It might be called the Coastguard. Oh, wait...
Tee hee. Actually, it might be called Fisheries Enforcement and, oops, it already exists

I don't think enforcement would be a big problem. Put warning tags on improperly marked pots for the first year, then start lifting and selling them. You can actually sell them back to the original owner if you post the location lifted and a photo of the pot. You don't need to lift all of them to get the message across, and create adequate incentives to get with the program.

Actually Fisheries Enforcement will also like this, because it will make it vastly easier for them to monitor what is going on with this type of fishing.


Ha, ha. We are not the only geniuses to have thought of this. Looky: ftp://ftp.fao.org/fi/document/ec-marking/Inf3.pdf


And what REALLY needs AIS marking urgently, are FADs. I remember someone on here actually lost his boat due to a horrendous collision with an unmarked FAD. That should be a crime.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:32   #6
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

Something similar hapenned to "The Amazing Marvin" (Leopard 48) near Gran Canaria. They ran upon (or ran in, as you can see in their videos in youtube) an unlight fish farm over a nautical mile away from it´s charted location, at night. Hull, rudder and saildrive damage, but they got out with help and got the boat to harbour.


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Old 09-09-2017, 12:34   #7
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

FYI for those sailing around the Carib you cannot expect anything more than coke 2L bottles or detergent containers only in the US VI I have seen occasionally orange or white floats (styrofoam). It can get crazy down in guateloupe the approach to Point a Pitre is notoriously hazardous. The Frenchies love their Hommard so be careful and avoid this approach in the darkness.
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Old 09-09-2017, 13:24   #8
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

Same thing here in Croatia where fishing pots can be marked by anything from an old Castrol GTX container to a few clear plastic bottles. No chance of spotting them at night or in anything other than flat calm.

In northern waters up around Istria there was a trend for bamboo poles with black flags to mark the pots but this seems to have gone. Round the Split/Sibenik area for a while bright coloured footballs were spotted but again this seems to have gone.

Again while we all appreciate these guys are trying to make a living and every penny/cent/lipa makes a difference surely it is in their interests to make sure their equipment is visible so that we don't get entangled and they don't lose their equipment.
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Old 09-09-2017, 14:11   #9
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

I travel the PNW and dealt with buoy dodging most of my life. You can miss most of the buoys by traveling in water too deep for crab.
I'm also a former commercial commercial fisherman, but not a pot fisherman. The majority of fishermen are barely making a living. Some because of choices and some because of luck. They don't have AIS or lighted AIS buoys because they don't have the money. If you put a lot of costly regulations on them they will go broke and their quota will be picked up by factory ships. And another independent way of making a living will be gone.
I longlined tuna and used a buoy with a flag and radar reflector, but that was before GPS receivers were cheap and Loran only got you within a mile far at sea. The buoys took a lot of storage space and wouldn't work for small boats. Especially someone fishing 50 or more pots. If they loose space to buoy storage, they fish fewer pots and make more trips to and from port. When I fished fuel was 38˘ a gallon.
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Old 09-09-2017, 18:13   #10
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

Iam a commercial fisherman deep sea not inshore pot fisherman, who also is lucky enough to go sailing
Have spent the last 2 seasons sailing a 45' trimaran up in Maine (USA) where lobster fisherman I understand can have upto 800 pots per vessel,
I had never seen so many pots in the water so close together,the only issue I have is pots on entrance to a narrow passage when entering a port ,and most pots can be avoided by going deeper,but I do realise that when Iam sailing in amazing beautiful places such as Maine that Iam only a visitor for a short time ,where as the fisherman are working the waters all year supporting there family's and local communities long past when all the pleasure boats are gone, and I am greatly respect there skill in working in thick fog (which I cannot get use to)surrounded by rocks hundreds of pots not mention pleasure boat captains
Bye the way many sailing boats and there crew are rescued by commercial fisherman each season at times putting there own lives at risk.
I applaud the use of sinking rope used on lobster pot lines in the US perhaps this could be used in other fisheries reducing entanglement, (I understand in 3rd world fishing nations this would be cost prohibitive)
yes entanglement is a issue in some areas especially around an entrance to a port,but it sounds like some in the sailing community believe the oceans should be preserved for there recreational use only,we share a resource to be used by all.
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Old 09-09-2017, 18:50   #11
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galues View Post
Iam a commercial fisherman deep sea not inshore pot fisherman, who also is lucky enough to go sailing

Have spent the last 2 seasons sailing a 45' trimaran up in Maine (USA) where lobster fisherman I understand can have upto 800 pots per vessel,

I had never seen so many pots in the water so close together,the only issue I have is pots on entrance to a narrow passage when entering a port ,and most pots can be avoided by going deeper,but I do realise that when Iam sailing in amazing beautiful places such as Maine that Iam only a visitor for a short time ,where as the fisherman are working the waters all year supporting there family's and local communities long past when all the pleasure boats are gone, and I am greatly respect there skill in working in thick fog (which I cannot get use to)surrounded by rocks hundreds of pots not mention pleasure boat captains

Bye the way many sailing boats and there crew are rescued by commercial fisherman each season at times putting there own lives at risk.

I applaud the use of sinking rope used on lobster pot lines in the US perhaps this could be used in other fisheries reducing entanglement, (I understand in 3rd world fishing nations this would be cost prohibitive)

yes entanglement is a issue in some areas especially around an entrance to a port,but it sounds like some in the sailing community believe the oceans should be preserved for there recreational use only,we share a resource to be used by all.


I have full regard for the needs of commercial fishermen. The problem is not pots per se, but poorly marked pots (and poorly positioned ones). Entanglement is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous; it can trigger costly and risky unnecessary rescues; and usually results in loss of the pots. As Dockhead said above a cheap reliable method of marking pots clearly is advantageous for all.
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Old 09-09-2017, 18:56   #12
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Poorly marked lobster pots

I have full regard for the needs of commercial fishermen. The problem is not pots per se, but poorly marked pots (and poorly positioned ones). Entanglement is not just an inconvenience, it can be dangerous; it can trigger costly and risky unnecessary rescues; and usually results in loss of the pots. As Dockhead said above a cheap reliable method of marking pots clearly is advantageous for all.

Edit: Let's not forget the economic benefits that leisure boating brings to many areas in this discussion.
Dockhead: interesting document. I've just skimmed it, will read it closely later.
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Old 09-09-2017, 18:58   #13
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

Sorry for semi-duplicate posting. Ineptitude with the facilities.
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Old 09-09-2017, 19:25   #14
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

Query: does anyone know if the lobstermen typically have line cutters on their own props?

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Old 09-09-2017, 23:51   #15
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Re: Poorly marked lobster pots

Around these parts crab pots seem to get dropped in popular anchorages, around turning marks and quite often are painted dark colours.
We have ran over a few, to late to react, not sure if we sucked them up or not, I doubt we would notice if we did.
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