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Fisheries: Navy

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which vessels are available to the Marine and Fisheries Agency and the Fishery Protection Squadron for enforcing fisheries rules; and if he will make a statement. (166430)

There are three River Class vessels and three Hunt Class vessels available to the Marine and Fisheries Agency and the Fishery Protection Squadron in 2007-08.

The three River Class vessels available are HMS Tyne, HMS Severn and HMS Mersey.

The three Hunt Class vessels available are HMS Quorn, HMS Ledbury and HMS Brocklesby.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many patrol days the River Class offshore patrol vessels have provided for the Fishery Protection Squadron in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (166431)

The following tables record the number of days that both the River and Hunt Class patrol vessels have patrolled in the last 19 months.

Patrol days 2006-07

Month

Days

Profile

Ships

Contract days

Total profile

Total days

Balance

OPVs

IPVs

% OPVs

April

30

75

4

66

75

66

-9

57

9

86.37

May

31

80

4

79

155

145

-10

118

27

81.38

June

30

85

4

81

240

226

-14

172

54

76.11

July

31

85

4

92

325

318

-7

235

83

73.9

August

31

80

4

80

405

398

-7

299

99

75.13

SEPT

30

80

4

80

485

478

-7

345

133

72.18

October

31

65

4

73

550

551

+1

394

157

71.51

November

30

60

4

54

610

605

-5

436

169

72.07

December

31

45

3

42

655

647

-8

467

180

72.18

January

31

50

3

51

705

698

-7

509

189

72.92

February

28

70

4

77

775

775

0

568

207

73.29

March

31

75

4

70

850

845

-5

620

225

73.37

Total

365

850

850

845

620

225

OPV = Offshore patrol vessel = Rivers

IPV = Inshore patrol vessel = Hunts

Patrol days 2007-08

Month

Days

Profile

Ships

Contract days

Total profile

Total days

Balance

OPVs

IPVs

Total days % OPVs

April

30

70

4

66

70

66

-4

52

14

78.79

May

31

75

4

79

145

145

0

50

29

70.34

June

30

75

4

66

220

211

-9

44

22

69.19

July

31

75

4

69

295

280

-15

59

10

73.21

August

31

75

4

78

370

358

-12

64

14

75.14

September

30

75

4

77

445

435

-10

58

19

75.17

October

31

60

4

67

505

502

-3

54

13

75.9

November

30

60

4

565

December

31

45

3

610

January

31

50

3

660

February

29

70

4

730

March

31

70

4

800

Total

366

800

800

Note:

OPV = Offshore patrol vessel = Rivers

IPV = Inshore patrol vessel = Hunts

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the highest number of River Class offshore patrol vessels allocated to the Fishery Protection Squadron at any one time (a) has been and (b) will be in the new contract period from 1 April 2008; and if he will make a statement. (166433)

There are three River Class vessels allocated to the Fishery Protection Squadron which will be included in the new contact period. This is the highest number there has been at any one time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his assessment is of the operational efficiency of the River Class offshore patrol vessels; and if he will make a statement. (166435)

The River Class vessels, built in the last five years, are much faster vessels than the older Hunts (18 years+), with a maximum speed of 22 knots compared to a maximum of 15 knots on the Hunts and they are able to stay at sea for longer periods. Rivers currently carry out 12-day patrols followed by a two-day stand-off whereas the Hunts carry out seven to eight-day patrols followed by a two-day stand-off.

The River Class vessels are equipped and manned to be able to routinely deploy two sea-boats to carry out simultaneous inspections, whereas the Hunts are equipped to use one sea-boat. They do exceptionally use two sea-boats if weather and crewing permit.

Rivers have a higher complement of qualified British Sea Fisheries Officers (BSFOs), carrying an average of four at all times whereas the Hunts carry an average of three qualified BSFOs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many patrol days were undertaken by each class of Fisheries Protection Squadron vessel in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (166464)

The following table records the number of patrol days undertaken by offshore and inshore patrol vessels since 1995.

Offshore patrol vesselsInshore patrol vessels

Calendar year or agreement year

Patrol days

Days

Percentage

Days

Percentage

1995

1,156

689

59.6

467

40.4

1996

1,181

683

57.8

498

42.2

1997

1,158

782

67.5

376

32.5

1998

1,081

803

74.3

278

25.7

2000

964

546

56.6

418

43.4

2001-02

957

642

67.08

315

32.92

2002-03

942

579

61.46

363

38.54

2003-04

908

658

72.47

250

27.53

2004-05

880

626

71.13

254

28.87

2005-06

855

636

74.39

219

25.61

2006-07

845

620

73.37

225

26.63