Fishing for Statistics

Defence Stats always produce fascinating, detailed and comprehensive work.

Released this week is a compendium of fisheries protection related information;

This is an annual publication that provides information on the number of vessels boarded by the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron (FPS) within British fishery limits, and the number of court convictions and Financial Administration Penalties (FAPs) issued as a result of the boardings. This edition provides statistics for financial years 2008/09 to 2014/15, with a base year of 2000/01. It also updates the conviction and FAP figures released in the 2014 edition. The FPS enforces fishery protection laws by patrolling the British fishery limits and conducting inspections of fishing vessels. Any infringements that are identified as a result of the boardings are followed up by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). This may involve prosecuting offenders or administering FAPs.

Read the full data here

All three River Class patrol vessels of the Fishery Protection Squadron, HMS Severn, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey are pictured exercising off the coast of Cornwall. The Fishery Protection Squadron (FPS) enforces UK and EU fisheries legislation in order to ensure the long term sustainability of the UK fishing grounds. In addition, the three UK based Ships are the only warships on permanent patrol around the UK, contributing to the policing of UK waters and delivering an intrinsic element of the UK’s Maritime Security
All three River Class patrol vessels of the Fishery Protection Squadron, HMS Severn, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey are pictured exercising off the coast of Cornwall. The Fishery Protection Squadron (FPS) enforces UK and EU fisheries legislation in order to ensure the long term sustainability of the UK fishing grounds. In addition, the three UK based Ships are the only warships on permanent patrol around the UK, contributing to the policing of UK waters and delivering an intrinsic element of the UK’s Maritime Security

What the report shows is that the Fisheries Protection Squadron carried out 567 boardings in 2014/15 that resulted in 8 court convictions; 4 Irish, 1 French, 2 German and 1 Dutch nationals.

Boardings carried out by vessels of the Scottish Executive Environment Directorate and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland are not included in the data tables.

Fishermen must therefore be a rather law-abiding bunch who realise sustainability is vital for their industry, or the deterrence effect of constant patrolling works.

With the recent deployment by HMS Severn in the Caribbean, devolved authorities conducting their own fisheries protection tasks and questions about the new OPV’s remaining to be decided in SDSR, is it time to rername the Fisheries Protection Squadron to reflect their wider role?

 

 

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HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
August 21, 2015 8:42 am

Excellent job for the fisheries squadron. But how large a vessel do we need to hunt down fishermen?

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
August 21, 2015 9:25 am

The introduction of FAP in 2008/2009 reduced the number of cases that had to go to court. these statistics are really on relevant when looked at against “Fish Days” a fish day is a 24 hour period that a vessel is on task. fish days are negotiated between DEFRA and the RN.

The size of the vessel is partially detemined by the requirement. They have to be able to operate in SS Y and be faster than X% of the EU FV Fleet whilst having an endurance of Z days. This together with the greater utility offered by only slightly large vessels drives size.
The main through life cost of manpower remains low with 3 watches of 14 rotating through whilst on Fish.

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
August 21, 2015 9:53 am

@TD

That is really a decision for DEFRA. If they want to contract it out or recruit and set up an at sea enforcement arm then they can. From an RN perspective it allows us to utilise platforms and have their running costs paid for. If we really needed them then we can always withdraw them on the grounds of “national security requirements”.
In terms of manpower, they are not particuarly manpower intensive and offer some really good jobs in terms of growing people. The opportunities and responsibiities that junior Officers and Senior rates get onboard really broadens them. So I am quite happy with the role at the moment.

Peter Elliott
August 21, 2015 10:54 am

Does highlight the extent to which some Whitehall departments are now “England only” and could go lock and stock to a future English Government.

TBH I can see a future constitutional settlement where the UK government controls the Treasury, Defence, DFID, and the FCO while a politically separate “English caucus” gets to control the rest. Whether the UK PM is also ‘First Minister of England’ would depend on the outcome of each general election.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
August 21, 2015 11:55 am
Reply to  Peter Elliott

Scotland has its own mini DFID…

Jack
Jack
August 21, 2015 1:23 pm

There are alternative fisheries protection vessels to the Rivers, and the new 90m class OPV’s are intended to be used outside UK waters from day one, they are
The new 90m OPV’s are intended to be used outside UK waters from day and will be more suitable for Caribean Patrol than the Mersey.
There are alternative fisheries protection vessels.
http://www.newsguardian.co.uk/news/local/duchess-smashes-bottle-to-name-new-700k-fisheries-patrol-vessel-1-7406668

Some Royal Navy ships on the Tyne
http://northumbrianimages.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Royal%20Navy%20on%20the%20Tyne

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 21, 2015 2:51 pm

How did the Spanish get away with it?

86thOfficer
86thOfficer
August 21, 2015 3:31 pm

Meanwhile next door…..

The eight vessels of the Irish Naval Service conducted 912 boardings for alleged fisheries infringements in 2014. Ten vessels were detained and 31 had infringements recorded against them. And all that while undertaking security, environmental, drug interdiction, UN support and traditional naval tasks.

Makes an interesting contrast for neighboring waters.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
August 21, 2015 8:52 pm
Reply to  86thOfficer

Totally irrelevant without access to fish days, it actually seems a poor return given the fact that the RN only had 2 vessels available, you also have to factor in Fact.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
August 21, 2015 9:57 pm

@APATS – slightly, but not completely off-thread – has there been an official verdict on how HMS Severn handled the APT(N) task over last winter – if you are allowed to comment, that is.

Chuck Hill
August 22, 2015 9:03 pm

This is all very well for the 11% of your EEZ that is around the British Isles, but what about the remaining 89%?

Chuck Hill
August 22, 2015 9:21 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_economic_zone#United_Kingdom

Also reading the report it appears likely the number of convictions or penalties will increase as it did in the previous year from 8 to 17 because trials were not concluded within the reporting period.

sparky42
sparky42
August 26, 2015 1:57 pm

@APATS- that’s not actually true, for most of the first 6 months the Peacock’s and Eithne were offline for Asbestos removal, one of the 20’s was decomissioned and Beckett was working up for most of the period, so really it was the 2 50’s and 2 20’s operational for all duties. So there was never 8 hulls available.

stephen duckworth
August 26, 2015 7:21 pm

The Scots have their own vessels which contributed to the UK’s figures. 3 MPV are in service. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Compliance/enforcement

randomer
randomer
August 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Who actually does the enforcement in NI? Can’t find any evidence of them having any enforcement vessels.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the SFPA used to combine all the inshore boardings (done in E+W by the various fisheries boards or whatever they now call themselves) with the offshore figures (done by the RN) so the picture isn’t 100% the same.

All politicians are the same
All politicians are the same
August 28, 2015 7:17 am

The figures for the Scottish fishery protection Agency do not get included in the figures in this article. As pointed out below neither do the figures for boardings done inshore by fishery commisions.

All politicians are the same
All politicians are the same
August 28, 2015 7:19 am

There is a 30 odd page post patrol report. I have not seen it but chatting to Cdr FPS he says it was a genuine success with lessons identified on achievable specific equipment and manpower upgrades that would improve OC more in that specific role.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
August 28, 2015 5:17 pm

@APATS – thanks for the reply. From reading stuff in regional papers and the like, the impression I get is that it was low-key, but positive experiment, particularly with regard to co-operation and training with local security and civil defence agencies.

It also sounds as if the report covers the sort of issues mentioned on here (though not much commented on locally), such as the difficulties inherent in a small crew size and relatively small capacity for HADR equipment. When you talk about equipment upgrades, are you talking more about carry-on equipment or ship’s systems?

Like many, I still feel that the lack of a hangar is a general limitation for the OPV role as a whole, but I don’t think that it’s a show-stopper in the Caribbean context, as there are plenty of shore-based helicopters in the region that can be borrowed when needed. I would say it’s just as valid to train local pilots to use the Rivers’ flight-deck, as it is to carry your own aircraft, particularly if you are trying to develop regional capabilities. Probably all that is needed is some sort of aerial survey capability for the HADR role, when local aircraft may be unavailable, and a COTs survey quadcopter could provide that relatively cheaply.

JamesF
September 2, 2015 9:21 pm

Chuck, I beleive the Falkland Islands Government has 2 large Fishery Protection Vessels (in addtion to HMS Clyde) and a BN Defender Fishery Protection Aircraft, the South Georgia Government and BIOT (Diego Garcia) also operate a large Fishery Protection Vessel each. The rest of the BOTs have only inshore fishery patrol and police/customs vessels. With Pitcairn Island getting the largest Marine Conservation Area on earth, there should probably be some sort of offshore enfrocement provision, as there should be for the tuna fisheries around Ascension and St. Helena. The arrangements in BIOT and FIG/SGG are that vessels and crews are contracted by the local authorities from specialist shipping companies, but each vessel carries a government Fisheries Inspector to make any arrests.

Chuck Hill
September 4, 2015 4:54 am

So you have five ships to patrol the EEZs around the main European island (three Rivers and two Scottish vessels). That provides one ship per 154,735.2 sq km. To provide the same protection to the rest of the EEZ should require 44 ships total.

Chuck Hill
September 4, 2015 5:10 am
Reply to  Chuck Hill

Its not just fisheries, there is also marine environmental protection and SAR. Around the main islands you also have several vessels of the border force. I did a little additional calculation regarding the number of US Coast Guard patrol vessels over 100 feet. There are 90, one for every 126,122.2 sq km, with roughly half over 1,000 tons and half smaller.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 4, 2015 5:54 am
Reply to  Chuck Hill

The SFPA actually have 3 vessels, then there are inshore fisheries vessels dotted around the country. Also remember that we have no constitutional issues with utilising the RN around the UK. Then we have the CG cutters as well.
In terms of EEZ dotted around crown dependencies etc, look at where a lot of them are and their value in terms of usage as well as the requirement to actually police them. What is actually happening in them? What are local arrangements?
That is how you decide requirement not with a calculator.

JamesF
September 4, 2015 6:48 am

Chuck, the geography is not quite that simple – nor the number of vessels. All of the BOTs have tiny populations – so in terms of SAR the requirement is relatively small. Only the FIs and SG are on a large continentnal shelf with substantial fisheries and oil and gas exploration, and in addition to thier own three patrol vessels there are two RN OPVs in the south Atlantic (Clyde and Protector) as well as a large British Antartic Survey Vessel and another large FIG vessel for inter-island traffic, all of which can contribute to SAR – supported by an RAF C-130 and contracted AW189 SAR Helos at Port Stanley.

All of the Caribbean Islands and Bermuda have maritime police with patrol vessels and civillian SAR Helos, there is also a permanent RN warship presence in the Caribbean which can support SAR, counter-narcotics and hurricane relief operations. There is a large cable-layer based at Bermuda to maintain the transalantic cables, which also provides a secondary long range SAR role for the Bermuda government, if needed. Tristan da Cunha, St Helena and Ascencion Islands have no major offshore fisheries (not being on a continental shelf), but they do have a modern inshore fisheries protection vessels and are subject to regular RN deployments. St Helena will open a new DFID-funded airport in 2016, able to take C-130 and B737 aircraft, and the USAF Wideawake airbase on Ascension provides Maritime Patrol and SAR Helo cover. There is a small RN patrol vessel at Gibraltar and some inshore patrol RHIBs, and another at Cyprus and RAF SAR Helos at Cyprus and coastguard SAR Helos at Gib.

Half the US Navy is based at BIOT, and can be called upon if needed. Pitcairn has a population of 56 people and no port. The nearest port is at Tahiti, and any arrangement to protect the new reserve will probably need to be managed from there.

All politicians are the Same
All politicians are the Same
September 4, 2015 7:03 am

@JF

The Rn Cyprus squadron withdrew some years ago. There are 2 patrol vessels at Gib. however both areas of EEZ waters are tiny. You can stand on the runway at Akrotiri and see the edge of our SB TTW.

JamesF
September 4, 2015 11:08 am

@APATS. You are correct, both Scimitar and Sabre at Gibraltar. However I am pretty sure RAF 84 sqn is still flying Griffins in the SAR role from Akrotiri: http://famagusta-gazette.com/raf-rescue-pensioner-paraglider-from-cliffs-near-curium-p28717-69.htm

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 4, 2015 11:40 am

@JF

I think they are though I know the old RN Squadron had to provide the night SAR standby as the Griffin had no over water night winching capability.

GibMariner
GibMariner
September 4, 2015 2:27 pm
Reply to  JamesF

@ James Fennell MBE – there are no SAR helicopters at Gib. Unless you count the Spanish customs helicopters that are invading our airspace daily.

Chuck Hill
September 4, 2015 9:49 pm

Thanks for the discussion. The British organization appears to be a patchwork to an outside observer like myself, and is a bit difficult to comprehend. It still seems like the patrol force is short.

All Politicians are the same are the Same
All Politicians are the same are the Same
September 4, 2015 10:01 pm

@CH

Of course it seems patchwork. Your use of the word British highlights how little you comprehend of the complexity of what we do or do not own/manage/protect etc.
We are talking about a complex of “places” in almost every continent in the world, may of them managed by Britain before the UK became in to being, many of them managed before the US was ever formed. They now exist in various forms of Independence with long formed treaties about differing levels of devolved responsibilities in terms of protection, SAR, EEZ etc. It is infinitely more complex than the US position.

Your last sentence is a throwaway nonsense unless you can actually understand what the position is. It is so complicated we make mistakes about it.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 5, 2015 2:47 am

James/Chuck – the population of the Caribbean BOTS may be limited, but they do have external problems out of proportion to their populations – primarily drug smuggling (ganja from Jamaica going everywhere as well as South American cocaine heading mostly for the USA), people trafficing (all nationalities trying to get into the States and Cubans trying to get…. well, anywhere that’s not Cuba) and gun running (mainly from the USA to everywhere else in the Caribbean)

By and large, the BOTs own resources are pretty limited – most have a couple of Marine Police launches and some have a Police helicopter, supplemented by a few inshore police and fisheries workboats. Many, as noted above, rely on civilian volunteers and contractors. TCI has a coastal radar system (Scanter 4100), a couple of fast interceptors (16m, I think) and, I believe around 8 R22 helos, whereas Anguilla’s 7-strong Marine Police has two small launches (and a lot of drunken boaters, by the sound of it). Bermuda is quite well organised – they have the Bermuda Regiment, Police assets and a marine science institute that has a number of useful vessels as well (I remember them being involved in the search for survivors of the Marques sinking in 1984)

I’m not aware any of them train for helicopter rescue, so the helicopters search and the “rescue” bit is primarily by boat. I know that the USCG helps out a lot in these circumstances (thanks guys), particularly around BVI and TCI, and there’s also a lot of co-operation with the Bahamians.

I don’t want to annoy anyone about this, but the RN contribution is not THAT highly regarded in the region – possibly undeservedly, since it’s primarily involved in HADR (so you really don’t want to be noticed), but also because it’s not that big.

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
September 5, 2015 6:53 am

why are these problems for a total population under 200,000? Are they specifically trying to get in or out of the BOTS? What exact threat do they pose to you? The assets you describe sound like quite a lot for a total population half the size of Edinburgh’s.
it all sounds a bit can i have more please, without the justification.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 5, 2015 3:17 pm

I didn’t say that anyone was asking for more. All the assets I listed have been paid for out of the various Islanders own pockets, not by the UK Government. The UK may be responsible for security, but the bills get paid by the local community.

There are a number of issues that make it different from Edinburgh – firstly the Caribbean is a bit bigger at more than 1 million square miles of water – add the waters around Bermuda and TCI to that total, as they are in the Atlantic, not the Caribbean. Some (like Cayman and Bermuda) have large EEZs, while others (like TCI) have over 300 islands to police (a significant portion of the 700 islands that make up the Caribbean). BVI has around 50 islands. Edinburgh is also not noted for hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. Add in a few complications from having 6 different legal jurisdictions, some of which don’t actually like each other much and the large distances involved and co-operation is limited. In addition to the BOTs there are also a number of former colonies (and current Commonwealth countries) in the region, to which we, as the former colonial power have some degree of responsibility. So 18 countries spread around more than 1 million square miles of sea (large parts of which we have responsibility for as guarantors of the BOTs security) and you think that the locals should be impressed by one ship?

As for the threats – these are all jurisdictions with similar laws as the UK, so drugs, firearms and people trafficking are all illegal. Are you saying that the BOTs should ignore illegal conduct within their waters because the intended destination is elsewhere? As it is, the traffickers and the smugglers do try to get to the BOTS – the numbers may not seem great to you, but the impact on the tiny economies (the largest is probably Cayman, with a population and budget less than one thousandth of the UK’s) is significant. One boatload of 80 Chinese and Honduran migrants (as happened in TCI recently) can severely stretch the resources available to handle and repatriate them.

Personally, I am happy to see the RN here, but you shouldn’t be surprised at the fact that it’s barely noticed – the RN assets are simply spread too thin (I think we have more visits each year from the USCG than the RN).

All politcians are the Same
All politcians are the Same
September 5, 2015 4:14 pm

So basically zero threat is what you are saying?

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 5, 2015 5:00 pm

No – I’m saying that the RN presence is barely noticeable

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 5, 2015 5:05 pm

You are not justifying why it has to be though.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 5, 2015 5:10 pm

I was remarking on the facts on the ground

All politicians are the Same
All politicians are the Same
September 5, 2015 5:18 pm

The Rn do not have a big presence in Coventry either. Should they?

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 5, 2015 5:44 pm

You could try – I believe the maximum beam on the canal is around 7 feet

stephen duckworth
September 5, 2015 7:03 pm

If the Caribbean and Western Atlantic territories were not to rank so highly on the tax havens lists (or at least ask for donations of used super yachts and VIP helo’s :-) they wouldn’t need bigger RN prescence.
EU Tax Haven list
“Andorra, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Monaco, Mauritius, Liberia, Seychelles, Brunei, Hong Kong, Maldives, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, US Virgin Islands”. From
http://m.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/business/Caribbean-countries-high-on-EU-s-tax-havens-blacklist_19151746

The Other Chris
September 5, 2015 7:32 pm

Oh, you believe they’re tax havens. That will explain some thinking.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
September 6, 2015 12:10 am

The old tax haven chestnut. Funny how the list never includes the 3 biggest tax havens – Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming. Or the worlds biggest money launderer – the USA. Meanwhile all the BOTs are layering on so much KYC and AML regulation that simply opening a bank account here is a marathon compared with the UK. All the retail UK banks on-island have shut up shop and left – they found the regulatory regime too onerous.

As for tax, the local government raises approximately the same per capita as the UK Government – all through indirect taxation. Makes you wonder why the “developed” nations can’t do the same. Then you start reading about debt-based economies and realise just what a hole we’ve dug for ourselves.

Edit: Sorry SD – I know you were being tongue-in-cheek (well, hopefully), but it’s a perception that needs challenging.