Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

KHM Portsmouth / Safety and regulations / Regulations

FISHING IN THE SOLENT

Fishing compliances

Any person fishing in the Dockyard Port is required to comply with the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order 2005 Schedule 1 paragraph 5.8 which states:  South of the Harbour entrance in areas not shown as “fishing prohibited” or “anchoring prohibited” on current Admiralty Charts, unattended fishing gear in respect of which a surface mark is employed must show a dan buoy or container with flag, whichever must be fitted with a radar reflector and have the identity of the laying vessel clearly displayed.

A fisherman with a fish in their hand trying to remove the line from its mouth

Fisherman

Fishing Gear Markers must always be marked with the Port Letter Number of the vessel to which they belong, and must also comply with any local marking requirements, laid down by Sea Fisheries Committees, Harbour Authorities and Devolved Administrations. 

The dhan should be placed at the North or West end of the fleet to indicate its general direction, and there should be generous use of fluorescent strips and two bands of retro reflective tape on the dhan. It is recommended that a minimum size of a 1 metre (40 inch) circumference high visibility buoy be used at the other end of the fleet.

Fishing Gear Markers must always be marked with the Port Letter Number of the vessel to which they belong, and must also comply with any local marking requirements, laid down by Sea Fisheries Committees, Harbour Authorities and Devolved Administrations.

Navy sailor on a boat at sea glancing through binocular at dusk

Yachtsman

Yachtsmen need to keep a sharp lookout for fishing gear, especially when navigating around headlands and harbour entrances. 

If fishing gear is spotted, it is necessary to keep well clear as the wind and tide may drive a vessel onto it. Buoys can be used to determine the rate and set of the tide, which will assist with the decision which side to pass. It is very unwise to try to pass between a marker and float.

Although gear may have been set carefully, it nevertheless may be that on occasions at high tide a buoy is under the surface of the water, and at low tide slack lines may be near the surface.

Marking of fishing gear

An individual with a fishing rod in their hands adjusts the line

Advice to fishermen and Yachtsman

The illustration shows typical fixed or moored fishing gear configurations, which are well marked. The line should be weighted to ensure that it does not float to the surface, and the flags, at either end of the fleet, should be mounted on poles. Flags coloured black show the best silhouette at night, although the best way of ensuring visibility in the dark is by illumination.

NB: Local regulation may impose different standards from the advice given in this website, and in this event, local requirements should take precedence over this advice.

Diagram of netting arrangements

Example of netting arrangement

Each year the Coastguard has to deal with around 200-300 incidents where boats are snagged by their propeller or rudder on floating lines or fishing gear. Ths image is an examples only. Different arrangements may be found.

Stay informed

To receive Notices and/or Shipping Movements, please make your selection below.

Follow KHM Portsmouth on X

@khmportsmouth