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The purpose of providing Principal Fairways and Traffic Separation Schemes is to improve the safety of navigation in areas where traffic density is high or traffic movement is restricted. There are 16 Principal Fairways and 2 Traffic Separation Schemes in the waters of Hong Kong.

Map Showing Traffic Separation Schemes and Principal Fairways

Principal Fairways

Traffic Separation Schemes

Vessels using a Principal Fairway or Traffic Separation Scheme shall abide by the following rules and regulations.
Particular attention shall be drawn to the following items:

When Using Principal Fairway

Always observe COLREGs and remember NO special right of way for a vessel proceeding along a Principal Fairway Anchor within the fairway limits
Keep to the outer limit of the fairway which lies on the starboard side of your vessel Engage in fishing within the fairway limits
Sound the appropriate signals as required by COLREGs regarding overtaking situations Impede the passage of a large vessel
Cross a fairway at right angle  

When Using Traffic Separation Scheme

Always observe COLREGs Anchor in Traffic Separation Scheme at or near its termination
Proceed in the appropriate lane in the direction of traffic flow for that lane Enter a separation zone or cross a separation line except in case of emergency or to avoid immediate danger
Keep clear of a traffic separation line or separation zone Impede the safe passage of a large vessel following the traffic lane
Join or leave a traffic lane at its end where possible  
When joining or leaving a traffic lane from either side, do so at as small an angle as possible to the general direction of traffic flow  
Cross the traffic lanes at right angles  
Navigate with particular caution in areas where traffic lanes terminate or where there is a precautionary area  

Vessels Not Using Principal Fairway or Traffic Separation Scheme shall avoid it by as wide a margin as is practicable