The australian naval institute


Journal ot the Australian Naval Institute



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Journal ot the Australian Naval Institute Page 43

THE FISHERY PROTECTION SQUADRON OF THE ROYAL

NAVY

by Sub-Lieutenant J. V P. Goldrick RAN

Introduction

The Fishery Protection Squadron ot the Royal Navy is one of the oldest constituted units of HM Fleet, The RN has been involved in fishery protection since the despatch of a Wafting Ship' in 1586 to (he North Sea for the herring season, and armed ships were operat­ing under local jurisdiction for two hundred years before that date.

Full time fishery protection operations be­gan in 1891 with a single gunboat and have grown steadily over the years to require the present 15 operational units, which are divided into the Offshore and Coastal, or Inshore Divis­ions. The former consists of the seven modern ISLAND class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), while the latter includes eight of the elderly TON class MCMVs.

Duties

The tasks of the Fishery Protection Squad­ron are defined as follows:

  • To enforce National Fishery Laws.

  • To enforce International Regulations rele­vant to fishing in UK waters

  • To prevent fishery incidents, whether il­legal or merely ill mannerec.

  • To investigate and, if necessary, adjudicate fishery disputes.

  • To assist distressed fishing vessels.

  • To locate and identify foreign fishing ves­sels within the UK Exclusive Economic Zone.

  • Boardings and provision of detailed infor­mation on fishery matters by inspection.

  • To provide platforms if requested by the concerned civilian Ministry for authorised members of the Sea Fisheries Committee to enforce by-laws.

In addition, the Squadron has more recent tasks assigned it, first in the matter of dealing with pollution at sea, by dispersing oil slicks or otherwise dealing with them, and, second, to provide a deterrent presence and surveillance of gas and oil installations with the capability of rapid response to any emergencies which may occur




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