Posted on November 23, 2018
Three Royal Navy Fishery Protection ships will be kept in service potentially until 2027, but no new money has been identified, it has been announced. The Ministry of Defence has said three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), will be retained for at least the next two years to bolster the UK’s ability to protect our fishing fleet as well as our shores. The Royal Navy currently provides around 200 days of fishery protection a year. The extension of the Batch 1 fleet of OPVs, HMS Tyne, HMS Mersey and HMS Severn, which currently support the Fishery Protection Squadron, means that the Royal Navy will now have the capacity to deliver up to 600 days of fishery protection a year if needed. Earlier this year 35 French boats confronted five British craft off the coast of northern France last week, with reports of rocks and smoke bombs being hurled at UK mariners. Tensions also flared in September when Cornish fishermen accused French trawlers of deliberately sabotaging their crab pots, costing them hundreds of thousands of pounds.