The Cruising Association's campaign and petition have been set up to highlight the dangers of entanglement in unmarked lobster pots and static fishing gear


The Cruising Association (CA) has welcomed the news that the Scottish Government has decided to take steps towards the better marking of creel/lobster pots and towards making unlicensed fishermen more identifiable.
The campaign was set up to highlight the danger to small boats of entanglement in unmarked lobster pots and static fishing gear in UK waters.
When the CA RATS (Regulations and Technical Services) Committee submitted its comments during their ‘Gear Conflict’ consultation in 2016/7 RATS said: “We believe that marker buoys and floats not only reduce accidental gear conflict but also have a role to play in reducing accidental entanglement of propeller shafts and rudders of non-fishing vessels such as cruising yachts and other recreational craft. The size of the buoy is significant not only for visual identification at a sufficient distance to take avoiding action, but also in providing sufficient buoyancy to maximise deflection should there be contact with a passing vessel.”
Marine Scotland has responded to the consultation saying: “It is clear that some fishermen are marking gear using inappropriate equipment that result in poor visibility and/or poorly secured marking equipment. Marine Scotland will therefore introduce regulations which will ban the use of equipment not manufactured for the purpose of marking fishing gear. This will outlaw the use of objects such as plastic milk cartons and netted footballs.”
The CA has said that fishermen’s organisation such as NFFO (National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations) and SCFF (Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation) have been pressing for action against unlicensed fishermen who may have a vested interest in using very small pot markers and has welcomed the proposal to “also introduce regulations requiring all unlicensed fishermen to mark their gear with a unique reference number which will be issued on request by the local Marine Scotland Fishery Office. The regulations will also require licensed fishermen to mark their gear with the PLN.”
The CA’s well-regarded campaign about this issue of maritime safety continues. RATS members are in discussion with the Civil Service as to the next steps and will also be reporting back to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fisheries who have shown a supportive interest.
The Marine Scotland Response to the Consultation on Draft Proposals for Requirements for Static Gear Deployed within 12 Nautical Miles of Scottish Baselines Executive Summary is available to read here.



22 March

The Cruising Association (CA) has welcomed the Government’s response to their Lobster Pot campaign.

The campaign was set up to highlight the danger to small boats of entanglement in unmarked lobster pots and static fishing gear in UK waters.

The CA asked members of the boating community to sign the ‘Lobster Pots and Small Craft Safety – time to change the rules!’ petition, which closed recently with 10,770 signatures. 

The Cruising Association President Judith Grimwade commented: “This signals change, and for the better. Government is now ‘looking at areas in which the enforcement of regulations can be enhanced‘ but is also open to, and interested in, the identification of other potential solutions”.

Continues below…


Although the petition has now closed, there’s still work to do and the Cruising Association intend to press for the setting up of a consultative body to bring all of the stakeholders together, including the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, ‘preferably under the auspices of one of the government agencies’.

The Cruising Association is asking members of the public to report any incident by emailing them at: or reporting it to the RYA here.