Panbo: The Marine Electronic Weblog has a post up about the tragic sinking of the scallop boat Lady Mary - Wreck of the Lady Mary, so many lessons. with links to a good article from The New Jersey Star Ledger.
In the comments I argue that these boats need AIS while other comments suggest better and more prudent seamanship is the answer.
I think that recreation boaters and fisherman (and others) tend to underestimate the workload faced by the bridge watch stander on, say, a container ship in traffic in marginal weather.
The shipping industry has used improved technology to not just increase safety but to increase productivity as well. There is in shipping, a great deal of pressure to stay on schedule. For example in limited visibility deep-sea vessels no longer slow to the speed in which they can stop in half the distance of the visibility but instead are relying upon radar and increasingly AIS and are running at full sea speed regardless of visibility. This puts vessels that are not in the system (no AIS, not reporting to the VTS) at greater risk.
Here is another view from a master mariner:
Manu's Scripts AIS: Friend or Foe From that post:
"(On one ship, I came up to the bridge to find a small fleet of sailing boats a cable and a half away in daylight and good visibility- unseen by the watchkeeper since these were not seen on the radar due to high anticlutter used, and since obviously they didn’t carry AIS, and since looking out of the porthole was apparently not in the contract. I threatened, in jest, to restrict the Officer’s certificate to read ‘Valid only on ship’s which experience no boats’ )From the same source, a related post not just about AIS - Losing the Plot