Legislation (Council Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009) is in place that requires masters of a fishing vessel using passive gear or beam trawls to mark their fishing gear. Masters must mark certain nets, lines, pots and beam trawls, with the port letter and number of their vessel. Marker buoys must also be attached. This will make sure all vessels are able to clearly identify fishing gear and prevent instances of gear conflict. The Marine Management Organisation has been involved with some joint working (with Maritime and Coastguard Agency, National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation and Royal Yachting Association) on reviewing marking of fishing gear for safety at sea purposes.
For all types of fishing gear, masters of a fishing vessel must attempt to retrieve any lost gear. If they are unable to do so they must notify the UK fisheries authorities.