Shoreham Port has been working closely with the local angling community and the Local Independent Sea Anglers (LISA) in recent years to improve navigational safety for vessels entering the Port at night. As part of an initiative launched by the local angling community, people fishing off of the East and West Arms were asked to use blue lights instead of standard white lights at night to assist vessels entering the Port.
The initiative followed reported incidents from several vessel Masters, that bright lights were blinding their vision as they approached or departed the harbour entrance. The local angling clubs demonstrated that using a blue light significantly reduces this issue and helps vessel Masters keep their night vision.
After various meetings in 2016, members of the local angling community and LISA expressed their full support of the blue light initiative and encouraged their members to adhere to the initiative to be able to keep fishing from the breakwaters.
In recent months, Shoreham Port has been informed of numerous incidents where anglers have caused issues for navigational safety by not adhering to the blue light agreement on both the East and West Arms. If these reports persist, Shoreham Port will have no choice but to close access to the private land on the Arms to the public due to the danger the problem is causing for vessel Masters.
The Port wishes to work with local anglers to ensure the breakwaters remain open for public use, therefore the Angling Trust and Shoreham Port wish to reiterate the importance of complying with the expectations outlined when the blue light initiative took effect.
Julian Seaman, Harbour Master & Director of Marine Operations at Shoreham Port commented “Our number one priority is navigational safety. We are striving to keep the breakwaters open at night for the angling community and we hope that all anglers who wish to fish at night will respect the measures in place by using blue lights at night when fishing. We want to keep the breakwaters open to the public but will be left with no choice but to close them if the problem continues.”
Reg Phillips of the Angling Trust Sussex Marine Region commented “We have seen families all enjoy a day’s fishing together, welcomed anglers forming new clubs, held competitions and raised money for charity on these Harbour arms. This whole experience is a privilege granted to us free of charge by the community lead Port. It is so disappointing to find that too many of us are still prepared to risk losing this iconic Sussex venue by ignoring a small but very important request by the Port.”
Reg continued “Blue filters are freely available at the hut on approach to Shoreham west arm, they are easily available online and low cost blue head torches are even now available at two local tackle shops, Prime Angling and Lagoon Bait & Tackle. This is our last chance so please use blue lights during the hours of darkness or we will lose the venue for everyone and we will only have ourselves to blame. Our thanks go to Shoreham Port for their willingness to try and find an alternative option to a total closure of the Harbour arms to sea anglers.”
For more information regarding the use of blue lights at night please contact Shoreham Port on 01273 598100.