Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road by Llana & Wisneskey

Home - Table of Contents

Rule 26 -- Navigation Lights for Fishing Vessels


INTERNATIONAL

INLAND

(a) A vessel engaged in fishing, whether underway or at anchor, shall exhibit only the lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule.

(a) A vessel engaged in fishing, whether underway or at anchor, shall exhibit only the lights and shapes prescribed in this Rule.

 

The rules for navigation lights on fishing vessels are relatively straightforward. There are no exceptions for particular geographic areas, and the International and Inland versions are the same. The navigation lights in this Rule are for those vessels "engaged in fishing" as defined in Rule 3 whose maneuverability is restricted by their fishing apparatus.


INTERNATIONAL

INLAND

(b) A vessel when engaged in trawling, by which is meant the dragging through the water of a dredge net or other apparatus used as a fishing appliance, shall exhibit:

(i) two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being green and the lower white, or a shape consisting of two cones with their apexes together in a vertical line one above the other;

(ii) a masthead light abaft of and higher than the all-round green light; a vessel of less than 50 meters in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such a light but may do so;

(iii) when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.

(c) A vessel engaged in fishing, other than trawling, shall exhibit:

(i) two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower white, or a shape consisting of two cones with apexes together in a vertical line one above the other;

(ii) when there is outlying gear extending more than 150 meters horizontally from the vessel, an all-round white light or a cone apex upwards in the direction of the gear;

(iii) when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.

(b) A vessel when engaged in trawling, by which is meant the dragging through the water of a dredge net or other apparatus used as a fishing appliance, shall exhibit:

(i) two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being green and the lower white, or a shape consisting of two cones with their apexes together in a vertical line one above the other;

(ii) a masthead light abaft of and higher than the all-round green light; a vessel of less than 50 meters in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such a light but may do so; and

(iii) when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.

(c) A vessel engaged in fishing, other than trawling, shall exhibit:

(i) two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower white, or a shape consisting of two cones with apexes together in a vertical line one above the other;

(ii) when there is outlying gear extending more than 150 meters horizontally from the vessel, an all-round white light or a cone apex upward in the direction of the gear; and

(iii) when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.

 

Rule 26 separates vessels engaged in fishing into two classes: vessels trawling, and all others. The basic lighting rules are the same for the two classes except that trawlers use a green all-round light while others use a red one.

The lighting requirements for vessels engaged in fishing distinguish between vessels making way through the water and those that are stopped, that is, drifting or anchored. Also related to that is the provision that anchored vessels engaged in fishing be lighted as would a drifting fishing vessel. Hence, those anchored vessels should ignore the Rule 30 lighting requirements. (See paragraph (a) of this Rule)


INTERNATIONAL

INLAND

(d) The additional signals described in Annex II to these regulations apply to a vessel engaged in fishing in close proximity to other vessels engaged in fishing.

(d) The additional signals described in Annex II to these Rules apply to a vessel engaged in fishing in close proximity to other vessels engaged in fishing.

 

Paragraph (d) refers the reader to the Annex II optional lights for vessels fishing in a "fleet." These Annex II lights, which provide close-by fishing vessels information, can only be displayed in the company of other vessels engaged in fishing.

One of the Annex II displays, a white light over a red light for a trawler hauling its nets, could be mistaken for the lights of a pilot vessel. While Rule 29 requires a pilot vessel to display a white over a red light. with either sidelights and sternlight if underway or anchor light if anchored, Rule 26 requires a trawler to display green over white lights. Note that the optional white-over-red Annex II lights will be displayed at a lower level than the green-over-white and that they will not be as bright.


INTERNATIONAL

INLAND

(e) A vessel when not engaged in fishing shall not exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed in this Rule, but only those prescribed for a vessel of her length.

(e) A vessel when not engaged in fishing shall not exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed in this Rule, but only those prescribed for a vessel of her length.

 

Fishing vessels not "engaged in fishing" must display the lights for an ordinary power-driven or sailing vessel, whichever is appropriate, in lieu of Rule 26 lights.

Home

Table of Contents

Rule 27