Shipping lanes in the area are among the busiest in the world and for the safety of navigation Traffic Separation Schemes have been introduced to alleviate maritime casualties.
The United Kingdom Department of Transport view is that if a vessel, other than one less than 20m in length, a sailing vessel, or a vessel engaged in fishing, commences its voyage from a location beyond one limit of the Inshore Traffic Zone and proceeds to a location beyond its furthest limit, and is not calling at a port, pilot station, destination, or sheltered anchorage within the Inshore Traffic Zone, then that vessel should, if it can safely do so, use the appropriate lane of the adjacent Traffic Separation Scheme unless some abnormal circumstance exists in that lane.
In that context, reduced visibility in the area or the density of traffic using a lane does not justify use of the Inshore Traffic Zone.
The existence of a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) does not imply that the traffic lanes have been adequately surveyed. In addition, the existence of sandwave areas, where depths may be less than charted, should also be taken into account by masters of deep-draft vessels.
Vessels of less than 20m in length, sailing vessels, and vessels engaged in fishing may use the inshore traffic zone.