The United States Coast Guard issues a warning to mariners turning off AIS on commercial fishing and crabbing vessels:
U.S. Coast Guard 13th District PA Detachment Astoria
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Astoria
Office: (503) 861-6380
After Hours: (206) 819-9154
PA Detachment Astoria online newsroom
ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard is issuing a warning to mariners and commercial fishermen about the dangers and legal consequences of disabling a vessel’s Automated Identification System.
The Coast Guard has seen an alarming increase of commercial fishing and crabbing vessels disabling their AIS, purportedly in an attempt to keep their fishing spots secret from competition.
“AIS is a vital tool in a host of Coast Guard missions including Search and Rescue and Port Security,” said Lt. Collin Gruin, boarding team supervisor at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “It’s not only illegal to turn it off but also incredibly dangerous.”
AIS is a maritime navigation safety communications system adopted by the international community to help save lives and facilitate safe transit of navigable waterways.
“Crabbers may think that they are protecting their businesses, but they are actually making search and rescue efforts more difficult if an emergency happens at sea,” said Gruin.
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