You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
''It's a good thing to do, because it acknowledges all the hard work the fishermen do and that there's always an element of risk involved at sea. We ask for God's blessing and protection on the water,'' Fr Chamberlain said.
There was a long tradition of religious ritual among mariners.
''The Port Chalmers Iona Church is dedicated to the Lady Star of the Sea.''
The Holy Name Church priest blessed three boats belonging to Moeraki fisherman and charter operator Martin Finnie; Sirocco, Katrina and Lady Jane 1. ''I wanted to get it done because it's an old Italian Catholic tradition and my family on my mother's side were Italian fishermen at Ravensbourne.''
The tradition began in Mediterranean fishing communities to ensure a bountiful season and safe waters for fishermen.