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Illegal Fishing

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) sightings, (b) arrests and (c) prosecutions for illegal fishing by vessels from non-EU countries within British territorial limits as defined by the Fishery Limits Act 1976 have taken place since the Act came into force. [118057]

Information is only readily available from the Fisheries Departments in the United Kingdom on the number of non-EU fishing vessels, including klondykers, prosecuted since 1982 and on sightings in British Fishery Limits since 1991. The sightings would include vessels transiting as well as fishing legally within British Fishery Limits. The total number of prosecutions between 1981 and 2002 was 73 and the sightings between 1991 and 2002 were 19,297. Some of the prosecutions and sightings involve vessels from nations that have since joined the European Union.