Safety update

May 2003 Illegal display of fishing vessel day signals

This safety update is for all owners and operators of fishing vessels. It is issued to raise awareness of the potential serious risk to safety from fishing vessels not exhibiting appropriate lights or shapes. It provides information on Maritime Rule 22.26(5) and alerts people to the risk to safety associated with illegal display of fishing vessel day signals.


Maritime New Zealand recently investigated a collision between two vessels. This investigation identified that some fishing vessels have adopted a practice of exhibiting their fishing day shapes or lights permanently - even when not engaged in fishing operations.

Precautions and procedures

All owners and operators of fishing vessels are advised that such a practice is unsafe, unacceptable and a breach of maritime rule 22.26(5).

Safe practice tips

For your ease of reference, maritime rule 22.26(5) states that: “When not engaged in fishing, a vessel must not exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed by this rule, but those prescribed for a vessel of its length.” All owners and operators are also reminded of the importance and need for all vessels to exhibit the appropriate lights or shapes prescribed during any other particular type of operation.

Original source content - Boat Notice 012003, May: Illegal display of fishing vessel day signals.

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If you have any questions about this safety bulletin, please contact our Wellington office.


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