Notice to Mariners

Port of Gippsland Lakes

Lakes Entrance

DATE:  17 December 2018

DETAILS:  Mariners are advised that in accordance with a publication in the Victorian Government Gazette a new Waterway Rule has be added to the Victorian Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules (VOZR). The Waterway Rule (Copy attached to this Notice) comes into effect immediately, per Schedule 104 Clause 104.8 of the VOZR.

The ocean access entrance to the Gippsland Lakes supports the maritime industry including offshore and inshore charter operations, commercial fishing operations, offshore support vessels servicing the Bass Strait oil and gas fields and an ever-increasing number of larger recreational vessels seeking fishing grounds offshore or voyages throughout the Gippsland Lakes.

The confluences of the Entrance Channel, The Narrows, Reeve Channel, Hopetoun Channel and Cunningham Arm is a strategically important intersection of waterway channels and the busiest area for vessel traffic on the Gippsland Lakes. The entrance and channels are well marked for night navigation which is also common practice.

Several navigation hazards and risks were identified in this area as a result of strong tidal flows and currents, increasing and diverse vessel traffic and conflicting waterway usage, especially at night.

The Rule affects all vessels excluding Gippsland Ports vessels engaged in dredging operations, infrastructure construction and maintenance and hydrographic survey.

The Rule establishes a Transit Only Zone in the area as delineated on the attached Map 1. Vessel operators must not permit a vessel to be anchored in or allow the vessel to drift in or set fishing equipment in the Transit Zone.

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