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Live AIS VesselTracker

Track the Newlyn fishing fleet at sea.

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Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Sunny, Bank Holiday Monday morning in Newlyn.

Another first time visitor, this time its the Plymouth registered, PH97 Stella Maris...

laying just astern of her is the Brixham beam trawler, Chloe Olivia with the guys busy overhauling her starboard-side beam trawl......

while the end of the Mary Williams pier is graced by the Asteria one of the visiting prawn trawlers...

though much later in the day she has joined a fleet of boats from France, England, Scotland and Ireland working the north west banks west of the Scillys...

on her way from Newlyn to the fishing grounds west of Scilly the Asteria had to cross one of three traffic separation schemes that help thousands of ships pass the Lands End peninsula safely every year - the AIS track would suggest that as she crossed the southbound lane she had to avoid several passing ships - from steaming west, she made a hard turn to starboard and headed north in order to pass astern of the southbound shipping before resuming her original course in accordance with the rules - the rules that apply in such a situation are:

Rule 8 is particularly important - as anyone who has ever navigated in a busy shipping lane in very poor visibility (heavy rain, or every sailor's dread, thick fog) will testify - in small vessels like fishing or yachts, tracking other vessels on a radar screen where every action is only relative to the heading of the viewing ship at any moment in time makes predicting changes to course or speed very difficult to determine with any accuracy - unless the change is significant - hence the importance of the rule.

These days, AIS determined by the IMO (Automatic Identification System) has made this situation much less hazardous as the course and speed of every vessel over 300 tons (and now many others under that size) is displayed for all to see - the skill and consequently the worry of navigating in restricted visibility have both been reduced.