The objective of the Guideline is to provide guidance on collision prevention and to improve the collision risk control capabilities of both merchant and fishing vessels.
All crew members responsible for navigation watch-keeping should possess a thorough understanding of the Guideline.
This Guideline incorporates the requirements of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 Convention, as well as the navigation and fishing practices specific to the coastal waters of China and takes into consideration practical experiences of shipping companies, industry associations and maritime institutions.
The Guideline offers recommendations to optimize navigation techniques, regulate action to avoid collision, and address emergency rescue measures for merchant vessels navigating in the coastal waters of China.
Prior to voyages bound for Chinese ports or transiting through coastal waters of China, special attention should be paid to the spatial distribution of fishing grounds.
Voyage plans should consider the clusters of fishing vessels and avoid such clusters rather than taking unnecessary risks.
If entry into waters with high concentrations of fishing vessels is unavoidable, proper identification of fishing vessels, their lights, shapes, and nets, as well as their ongoing fishing operations should be part of a collision avoidance plan.
The Guideline also includes recommendations for the following scenarios:
1.1 Prior to entering areas with high concentrations of fishing vessels.
1.2 Navigating in or close to areas with high concentrations of fishing vessels.
1.3 Matters requiring special attention, such as season of the year, time of navigation, interference of AIS transmitters on fishing nets, among others.
Action to Avoid Collision
The Guideline describes specific actions to be taken such as the VHF channel to be used, the use of lights and whistles, reduction of speed, enhancement of lookout, among others.
If the collision becomes unavoidable, the recommended actions include making the maximum effort to avoid a collision between the bow of the merchant vessel and the side of the fishing vessel, the vessel should be brought to an immediate stop, promptly report the incident to the nearest competent maritime authority, among others.