Fishery Protection Squadron

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1966.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice 12:00 am, 20th July 1966

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied that, in view of the extension of fisheries limits, the protection at present afforded by vessels of the Fishery Protection Squadron is adequate; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon , Aberdeenshire East

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the degree of fishery protection currently being afforded to the inshore fishing fleet; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr James Hoy Mr James Hoy , Edinburgh Leith

Yes, Sir. I am satisfied that the resources of the Fishery Protection Squadron are deployed to give the maximum assistance to our fishermen.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice

Is the Minister aware that many people are not satisfied that there are enough vessels in the Squadron to carry out adequate protective duties? Would he seriously consider augmenting the number of vessels with helicopter patrols?

Photo of Mr James Hoy Mr James Hoy , Edinburgh Leith

We have thought of that. It is true to say that we also augment the force when we feel that it is necessary, but we have to make the best use of available resources.

Photo of Mr James Johnson Mr James Johnson , Kingston upon Hull West

Is it not a fact that there is now less congestion inside the new limit than there was in the old, but that foreign vessels are being much less careful in observing the six-mile limit?

Photo of Mr James Hoy Mr James Hoy , Edinburgh Leith

No. That is not the information that we have. Since we extended the limits to protect our own fisheries, we have had infringements, but these have been pretty quickly detected.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

Has the Minister realised that the extension of boundaries by foreign countries has reduced the size of that part of the North Sea available for British fishermen and has thereby increased the responsibilities of the Fishery Protection Squadron? Will he take that into account?

Photo of Mr James Hoy Mr James Hoy , Edinburgh Leith

Whenever a country extends its limits, there are obviously less fishing grounds available for others. I do not differ from my hon. and learned Friend in this. It makes it all the more important that we should give the best possible protection to our fleet.