202023 An accident waiting to happen

29 Mar 2020 MARS 2020

The AIS-equipped fi shing net problem seems to be increasing exponentially. The picture below was taken on a recent trip from Shanghai to Busan showing a multitude of AIS targets, most of which are fi shing nets. The vessel’s recent-model AIS receiver can show up to 1,000 contacts, but still it is overloaded. It appears that these ‘smart’ fi shing nets are now hailing ships by call sign and/or MMSI number over VHF channel 16, with an automated voice giving its bearing and position and telling vessels to keep clear. But which AIS target is it? Readers are requested to submit their anecdotes or experiences with ‘smart’ AIS-equipped fi shing nets.