8 INFORMATION CONCERNING FISHING VESSELS ON THE EAST AND WEST COASTS OF CANADA


1 General

1.1 When navigating in coastal waters, mariners should exercise caution in areas where large concentrations of fishing vessels may operate. Many of these fishing vessels use nets which frequently extend to a considerable distance from the vessel and may be difficult to see.

WEST COAST
2 Georgia Strait - Fraser River

2.1 Many fishing vessels using gill nets operate, both by day and night, in the Fraser River and its approaches. The period of operation is approximately from July 1 to November 1, and sporadically throughout the year.

2.2 Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in this area since gill nets can be up to 375 meters in length.

3 Approaches to Juan de Fuca Strait - La Pérouse Bank - Swiftsure Bank - Estevan Point

3.1 Mariners are warned that during the period from approximately April 15 to September 30, numerous fishing vessels may be encountered inside the 50 fathom line off Estevan Point, La Pérouse, Swiftsure Bank and in the approaches to Juan de Fuca Strait. These vessels may be trolling or towing nets. At night, such vessels may frequently be at anchor. Vessels approaching these areas from any direction are advised to pass to seaward and clear of the banks due to the prevalence of restricted visibility in this vicinity. Vessels which are obligated to cross these banks should navigate with caution to avoid risk of collision with fishing vessels. Mariners can receive radar derived information concerning the locations of large concentrations of fishing vessels by contacting the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centre at Prince Rupert Traffic.

4 Juan de Fuca Strait

4.1 Numerous fishing vessels using drift nets or purse seine nets may be encountered, both day and night, in the Juan de Fuca Strait. The period of operation is approximately from July 1 to November 1. Drift nets can extend up to 552 meters in length from the end that is attached to the operating vessel. The free end is marked by a white light.

5 West Coast of Vancouver Island

5.1 Large fishing/factory ships may operate off the West Coast of Vancouver Island between Cape Flattery and Estevan Point from June to November. These ships may be fishing, working cargo or drifting.

6 Fishing Vessel Advisory Notice

Commercial ships and fishing vessels using the inside passage waters of British Columbia during the commercial fishing season.

6.1 Fishing vessels when in transit (not fishing) are advised to monitor the VESSEL TRAFFIC SERVICES CHANNEL for the VTS Sector they are in.

6.2 All commercial vessels transiting an open fishing ground are advised to monitor VHF Channel 78A (156.925 MHz) in addition to the Vessel Traffic Services Channel for the VTS Sector they are in. Vessels while in transit through the grounds should broadcast their intended track at frequent intervals (every ½ hour) on VHF Channel 78A, and more frequently under reduced visibility conditions.

6.3 Fishing vessels and other vessels when underway are required by regulation to travel with high intensity deck lights extinguished. Vessels in contravention are subject to severe penalties.

6.4 All vessels, including vessels engaged in a commercial fishery, are advised that it is imperative that correct lights and shapes are exhibited in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 as amended.

6.5 Gill Net fishing vessels should remain on the end of their net to enable transiting vessels, when known to be in transit in an active fisheries area, to identify where the fishing vessel is in relation to her net. In addition, at night, it is recommended that the Gill Net fishing vessel indicate the lie of her net to transiting vessels by directing the beam of her searchlight in the direction of the danger.

6.6 All vessels when transiting or crossing a Traffic Separation Scheme (Lanes) are required to observe Rule 10 of the International Regulations for preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (with Canadian modifications) as amended.

Refer to Part 3 of the Radio Aids to Marine Navigation publication, for information on zones, sectors and VHF frequencies.

7 Use of Radiotelephone

7.1 Vessels to seaward of Juan de Fuca Strait and within waters under Canadian jurisdiction are required to maintain a continuous listening watch on the bridge-to-bridge VHF radiotelephone channel in accordance with the provisions of the VHF Radiotelephone Practices and Procedures Regulations.

7.2 Mariners can communicate with Fisheries patrol vessels or "Prince Rupert Traffic" to exchange information or assist in making a safe passage. These patrol vessels can initially be contacted on VHF Channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

7.3 The Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for the coastal waters of southern British Columbia designates VHF channels for specific sectors. Refer to Part 3 of the Radio Aids to Marine Navigation publication, for details.

7.4 Mariners are recommended to refer to the appropriate US sources for radiotelephone procedures when navigating in US waters.

EAST COAST
8 Bay of Fundy and Grand Manan Basin

8.1 Mariners may encounter large concentrations of fishing vessels throughout the year in the southern approaches to the Bay of Fundy and within the area of Grand Manan Basin.

8.2 Vessels proceeding through these areas should navigate with caution to avoid risk of collision with vessels engaged in fishing, and maintain a continuous radio watch on VHF Channel 16.

8.3 Use of the traffic separation scheme in the Bay of Fundy is compulsory.

8.4 The MCTS Centre at Saint John "Fundy Traffic" may be contacted for detailed information concerning fishing vessel concentrations. Refer to Part 3 of the Radio Aids to Marine Navigation publication for details.

9 Grand Banks of Newfoundland

9.1 Mariners are advised that large concentrations of fishing vessels may be encountered in all areas on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

9.2 Vessels proceeding through areas of the Grand Banks are advised to navigate with caution to avoid risk of collision with vessels engaged in fishing, and to maintain a continuous radio watch on VHF Channel 16.

9.3 Rule 10(s) of the Collision Regulations states that "a vessel making a transatlantic voyage shall, as far as practicable, avoid crossing the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador north of latitude 43° north".

10 Strait of Belle Isle and Approaches

10.1 Mariners may encounter large concentrations of fishing vessels throughout the navigation season in the Strait of Belle Isle and approaches.

10.2 Vessels transiting through this area should navigate with caution to avoid risk of collision with vessels engaged in fishing, and maintain a continuous radio watch on VHF Channel 16.

10.3 The MCTS Centre at St.Anthony, St.Anthony Coast Guard Radio, may be contacted for information concerning fishing activity.

11 Use of Radiotelephone

11.1 Mariners are reminded of the requirement to maintain a continuous listening watch on the appropriate bridge-to-bridge VHF radiotelephone channel in accordance with the VHF Radiotelephone Practices and Procedures Regulations while navigating in waters under Canadian jurisdiction.

Authority: Canadian Coast Guard 
Transport Canada