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Fishery Protection Vessels

Volume 885: debated on Thursday 30 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence in how many incidents fishery protection boats have been involved with foreign vessels fishing illegally in British waters over the last five years; and in how many cases prosecutions resulted.

During the past five years, Royal Navy fishery protection vessels have, in addition to making many routine boardings, investigated 125 foreign fishing vessels for infringements of the fishing regulations; all but two were successfully prosecuted. Of these, 56 were convicted of illegal fishing in British waters.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many fishery protection boats there are; and of the total, how many are applied to use in Scottish waters.

As the House will be aware from my answer on 5th December 1974—[Vol. 882, c. 607]—there are, at present, eight mine countermeasures vessels and one fast patrol craft in the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron, but other units of the Fleet assist as necessary. As far as the inshore fishery protection duties of the Royal Navy are concerned, the waters of the British Islands are treated as a whole and vessels are not allocated to particular countries.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what reduction or reductions in the fishery protection fleet is, or are, pending; and if he will publish such details in the Official Report.

No reduction in the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron is contemplated.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the defence budget of the United Kingdom has been spent on fishery protection boats in each of the last five years.

Royal Navy vessels employed on fishery protection duties operate as an integral part of the Fleet and their cost cannot sensibly be separately identified within the defence budget.