USAG Resources

Cruise Ship ETA’s/Tracklines

Cruise Ship Flyer:
How to Avoid Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

Cruise ships, Tugs and Fishing Vessels Handy tips for your new crewmembers
so you can sleep soundly

As Commercial Fishermen We Are Members of the Maritime Community and That Carries With It a Responsibility to Understand the Constraints of Others 


1. Monitor VHF 16 and answer the radio. Make sure your crew is comfortable using this important tool. Make sure VHF 16 is on and the volume is loud enough to hear over other noises. After hailing on VHF Ch 16 – Change to channel 13, ship to ship, to communicate with other vessels. Tell the ship’s captain your vessel name and location so everyone can be sure they are communicating with the correct vessel. Speak clearly. The radio is a very important tool. Have your crew practice different scenarios.

2. Be clear in your movements and communications. Avoid ambiguity, know what traffic is around you and be clear in your intentions. Communicate your intentions by radio and maneuvers.


1. Where are you? Make sure your crew knows where they are and where safe water is so they will feel comfortable deviating off the trackline you asked them to follow. Scale in and out on the radar so you can identify potential traffic conflicts. Look behind you. A cruise ship covers 2 nm in 6 minutes at 20 kt.

2. If you are too tired to drive, wake someone up!

3. Know established cruise ship tracklines. Tracklines and estimated schedules are available in various locals. See the USAG website

4. Rules of the Road. Know the Rules of the Road and use common sense. Understand that even with the rules, tugs and barges, ferries and cruise ships are often constrained .

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1. Talk with the vessel’s captain who damaged your net if possible. Tell him or her that you will fix it and send them an invoice for damages. Exchange contact information.

2. Fix your net and finish the opening if possible.

3. Send an invoice for your supplies (net, twine) and time (a reasonable dollar per hour). You could include lost fishing time. Be reasonable with the invoice and bill only what needs fixed.

4. Follow up if necessary to get paid.

5. In extreme cases, you may wish to file a report (Report of Marine Casualty) with the Coast Guard:

Be especially aware of all vessels in high traffic areas, especially in Districts 6, 11 and 15. Monitor channel 16. Here’s a link to the 2015 tracklines: