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Fishing Vessels

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what tonnage of foreign-registered fishing vessels are operating in UK home fishing waters. (249048)

The number of foreign registered fishing vessels operating in the UK 200 mile fishery limit is very fluid and constantly changing in response to fishing opportunities. Their presence is recorded through a combination of obligatory satellite monitoring systems and through sightings of vessels made during aerial and naval reconnaissance activity carried out by, or on behalf of, UK fisheries administrations.

Based on the information collected as above, it is estimated that the number of foreign fishing vessels that operated in the UK 200 mile fishery limit in 2008, produced from sightings and satellite data, was 2,886. Of these, the vast majority (2,321 vessels) were registered fishing vessels from other member states. This includes fishing vessels identified as present within UK fishery limits but not carrying out fishing activities (e.g. Russian registered vessels).

The tonnage of those vessels involved is not readily available and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.