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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realise that crab/lobster pot markers etc are an established and accepted method of identifying owners fishing equipment and I am not suggesting that commercial owners of marker buoys are negligent in any way. I would however like to raise an issue that has been on my mind for quite a few years;-

The media have recently reported that yet another boat has sunk, this time in the Solent after snagging an obstruction. In the UK (and no doubt globally), there are regular incidents whereby boats have become snagged by small marker buoy lines that have fouled the propellor and put the vessel in danger. The type of buoys I refer to are the uncharted --- the small type often used to mark the location of crab or lobster pots or longlines etc, but potentially this could be extended to any marker that has been left in the sea for a designated purpose.

It would be interesting to know the views of other small boat users on the subject of such unattended buoys or markers. I'm not sure which regulatory body sets the standards that would cover this, but there will (or should) be a regulation which covers the laying of marker buoys? I am thinking in terms of a standard size and colour, distance apart and number of buoys in one string. Consider this one step further. At night, little can be seen of the marker buoy until you are almost upon one yet hardly ever are they left illuminated. Over the years, I have seen many different type of marker buoy ranging from professionally made hi-vis to the improvised plastic drum usually painted with the owners boat name. These are sometimes the hazardous ones that can barely be seen, often neglected and left to bob about just barely on the surface.

Does this issue require modernisation in order to ensure our own safety as pleasure anglers/small boat users? Industry bosses are now liable for fines and up to potentially, manslaughter charges in the event of a fatal accident at work that can be proved if the management where negligent. Consider then a profit making boater dropping markers to identify his/her fishing gear. Could this be classed as an industry? I would suggest the answer is "possibly". If a fatal boating accident involving a small craft was proved to be caused in any way by it becoming snagged by an unseen marker buoy, could the owner of the buoy be liable in a similar way as the Industry boss? If marker buoys were all of the same dimensions, colour and possibly even lights, then the chances of seeing one is all that greater. There will still be some incidents but at least we will know what we are heading for!

Does anybody else have any issues regarding this subject?

Regards

Harry
 
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I agree with you Harry. I have come across some pot markers that have clearly been left for years and have been very tempted to just cut the bouy off to let the rope sink. Some of these are in extremely dangerous areas (in naviagtion channels) and someone should be responsible for clearing them.
 

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I find what makes some of them really dangerous is that there may be a hundred yards or more of floating rope on some of them at low water. You think you have steared well clear and the next thing you know you are on top of the rope. If they all used sinking rope perhaps that would cut down on the danger a bit.
 

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There are regulations for pot floats but they are rarely obeyed and even more rarely enforced in our area. It would be interesting if gear attached to unmarked floats was confiscated by the Sea Fisheries Committee, or an insurance company sued the owner of fishing gear that caused an accident. I doubt either will happen though.
 

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Theres lots around portland bill,and when the tide is running,they are submerged,very dangerous,if your prop got snaged,in the speed that tide goes,your boat would be under in seconds!
 

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What gets me are the muppets who mark their pots with silly toilet cistern ballcocks. Try seeing them when it gets a bit lumpy.
Normally they have a bit of floaty rope on them as well!!!

At least the pro guys round here mark them with a tall flag so if you keep your eyes open you can see them.

Had my prop and anchor caught up in gear before where it was poorly marked and I didn`t think twice about taking a knife to the lot.


Alan
 

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What gets me are the muppets who mark their pots with silly toilet cistern ballcocks. Try seeing them when it gets a bit lumpy.
Normally they have a bit of floaty rope on them as well!!!

At least the pro guys round here mark them with a tall flag so if you keep your eyes open you can see them.

Had my prop and anchor caught up in gear before where it was poorly marked and I didn`t think twice about taking a knife to the lot.


Alan
You wont wana come around portland then!i counted 47,in a tiny area,and 6 were about 1ft below the surface!
 

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Discarded Markers

I know one skipper who would gladly cut the throat of one “polluter” but what is worse An ill made float or a floating rope? If you find what is an obviously derelict piece of flotsam then it is in everybody’s interest to pick it up and bring it ashore, how many I wonder of us have done that?


This was about 200 yards long, and this was the result, but could have been more devastating had it not been for the strength of the boat.

 

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when l used to fish pots l looked mine everyday as long as the weather let me but when your pots have been in the water for 7 weeks plus you get that much growth of weed on them that they look like they have been forgotten about but most cases they havent l know what you mean about the small makers on them hard to see but l used 6ft dahns on mine and you still got some folk heading for them sometimes l thought hey theres 30 flags lets go in them ive had them towed away by yachts mayb upto a mile before it sinks in they have picked them up and round our way its a bye law no one should go within a 100yrds of them plus its a bye law to a meter of pole above water but it seems there still alot of folk that cant see them not sure why thoe.
 

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Anyone heard of ropecutters? I've had one on every boat I've owned. They only cost a few pounds, take a few minutes to fit and save hours and hours of grief :)
 

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Anyone heard of ropecutters? I've had one on every boat I've owned. They only cost a few pounds, take a few minutes to fit and save hours and hours of grief :)
You took the words out of my mouth every boat should be fitted with one its not only pots there is a lot of discarded rope just floating around in the sea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would be happier if I could fit a ropecutter but it is not so easy with an outboard:uhuh:
Ropecutters are an excellent safety addition for inboards. :thumbs: I don't have one fitted as mine is also an outboard. If I'm quick enough my disaster plan warrants tilting the engine as quickly as possible when it is known that I have snagged the propellor. Then cut the rope promptly (no faffing about trying to unwind it!)

There may be other safety devices in use that could also be mentioned although I am trying to address the root cause of the problem pro actively (seek to ensure a standard for uncharted buoys?) --- thats why I have asked for input regarding the regulations that set the standards for buoy markers.

Regards

Harry
 

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As John, mentioned, around protland certain areas are pretty bad and to my knowledge there are no local byelaws or agreements. I believe that it is just upto the locals/owners of the pots etc to decide.

Now i would of thought that it is in the interest of the owners of these pots etc to mark them as best as possibly so that they do not loose there gear. However perhaps the cost loosing the odd trap and a cheap bouy out ways the cost of marking them all properly.

I would agree with harry and believe that there should some clear legislation in regards pot markers which should cover:

Size, colour bouy
height of flag marker (not sure why the use black one as it is not the most reflective colour)
Type of rope they can use and making sure enough is used for all states of tide.

You could even have different legislation dependant on how far offshore they where.

alternatively they can only be set in certain areas where the perimiter is clearly marked and this information is supplied on charts.

I do feel the first option is the best as the second one would lead to money grabbing licence schemes and would only seek to benefit the pocket of money grabbing 'ppl'.

All of the above is all well and good but who is going to police it. Councils do not have the resources and unless licence schemes are introduced there is no money for anyone else to do it.

Mark
 

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My thoughts-
Dahns are a lot easier to see at distance.
The mimimum size should be a 5 gallon drum, or the equivalent polyform buoy (A-2 size).
Floating rope should be illegal.
Around here gear is supposed to be marked with the GU registration in the case of licensed vessels, or a gear serial number in the case of unlicensed ones.
All the serious potters use proper polyform buoys with sinking rope - it's only the part-timers that don't.

As to 'corporate manslaughter' - proving negligence would be the potentially difficult bit, but yes, I guess a vessel owner would be liable if he hadn't done enough to mark his gear properly.

As an aside - who here has a buoy from the Dartmouth crabber 'William Henry II' registration DH5?
 

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Had a bloke around here in a speed boat who used to think it was fun to slalom around the markers at full bore! Crazy!!! What worrys me is groups of youngsters going flat out on little inflateables,how they can see ropes markers etc i dont know,If you hit a big drum at full speed i should think things wouldnt be very good!Most of the locals know where pots are commonly put,so no problems really allthough someone hit a rope at night once,very lucky he had a rope cutter!!!! Close to the Dodman,pitch black,heavy swell!!!!:help:
 

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The east scottish coast has its share of these inshore pot markers. Always thought Dunbar was bad - have been snarled 5 times in the space of less than a mile one day! Low tide, slack water and miles of blue rope floating in all directions.

Off the Fife coast recently there were so many pot markers you needed two pairs of eyes to stand a chance of spotting them - even travelling at displacement speeds.

The commercial lines of pots had some logic about how they were laid and fairly predictable. I suspect a lot of part-timers and holiday boaters were putting down individual pots - they were a real hazard - silly small markers often under the surface.

At one port the commercial guys have a line of holding cage markers. These a less than 100yds from the harbour entrance and at less than mid-water drift across the safe passage between reefs. If following the leading lights for the harbour entrance you would snag them at the worst possible position.

Amazing the harbour master allows this situation - it has been that way for many years.
 

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My thoughts-
Dahns are a lot easier to see at distance.
The mimimum size should be a 5 gallon drum, or the equivalent polyform buoy (A-2 size).
Floating rope should be illegal.
Around here gear is supposed to be marked with the GU registration in the case of licensed vessels, or a gear serial number in the case of unlicensed ones.
All the serious potters use proper polyform buoys with sinking rope - it's only the part-timers that don't.

As to 'corporate manslaughter' - proving negligence would be the potentially difficult bit, but yes, I guess a vessel owner would be liable if he hadn't done enough to mark his gear properly.

As an aside - who here has a buoy from the Dartmouth crabber 'William Henry II' registration DH5?
I think everyone has picked up a loose DH5 at some point :whistling,

There must be loads on the loose
 
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