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The Royal Navy is preparing to support the monitoring and protection of UK fisheries after Britain leaves the EU, having taken delivery of the first of five next-generation Offshore Patrol ships for the fleet.

HMS Forth is the first of five state-of-the-art Royal Navy vessels designed for fishery protection, as well as counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, border patrol, counter terrorism and maritime defence duties.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“The Royal Navy has a proud tradition of protecting the UK’s coastline and keeping a close eye on our fishing waters. With these state-of-the-art, vastly capable ships we stand ready to protect our fisheries once Britain leaves the EU.”

The River-class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) production line is moving apace with the £116m ships emerging at around six-month intervals.

The Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron is expecting a further two ships – HMS Medway and Trent – to be handed over later this year, with the remaining two – HMS Tamar and Spey – expected to arrive in Portsmouth by 2020. Just last week HMS Trent was formally named at the Glasgow shipyard where she was built.

They will become the Royal Navy’s eyes and ears around the UK, helping to safeguard fishing stocks. They will also assist in reassuring and protecting the Falkland Islands and are capable of deploying to the Mediterranean and Caribbean to uphold UK interests around the world.

OPV

Last week the Treasury announced that the MoD will receive a portion of a £12.7m fund from the Government’s Brexit preparation allocation to support work with DEFRA on maintaining the UK’s fisheries. The MoD is working closely with other government departments like DEFRA to determine the optimum deployment of these extremely flexible vessels.

66 COMMENTS

  1. Oh please, we all know the EU fishing fleet will get full, unfettered access to the UK’s fisheries in exchange for the UK’s financial sector getting (in theory but not reality) full access to the EU market.

    • Steven – oh are you privy to the negotiations then? And as for the UK’s financial sector ‘having access to the EU market’ firstly there is no ‘market’ in services let alone Financial Services within the EU and secondly its actually the other way round – The EU needs access to the biggest and best financial city in the world. Currently the City issued 46% more operating passports to EU firms than the EU issues to UK firms. London is the place of choice for EU business for raising capital or issuing bonds.

      I never understand why some people have the mindset that the EU is Gods Gift to everyone, what it says it what happens and we have nothing to offer. And this has nothing to do with being a Brexiteeer or Remainer – Its about belief in our own country rather than have everything done for us by a bunch of foreigners

      • “In contrast, the UK operates a surplus in its services trade with the EU, meaning that the UK sells more than it buys. Total services exports to the EU were worth £81.3bn in 2014 while imports were worth £64.2bn, leaving a trade surplus of just over £17bn. Germany (£12.1bn), France (£11.7bn) and the Netherlands (£11bn) are the primary markets for UK services exports”

        Source from ONS.

        “firstly there is no ‘market’ in services let alone Financial Services within the EU”

        Do you still agree with that statement?

        • SoleSurvivor – Yes I do. Just because there is ‘trade’ and people buy and sell services of all sorts doesn’t mean there is a ‘Single Market’. By the way its a lot bigger than just Financial Services as it includes Transport, Logistics, through to Elderly Care. The clue is in the fact those key ‘financial passports’ are issued under EEA Rules not EU rules.

          And the fact we trade a surplus in ‘Services’ doesn’t mean there is a ‘Single Market’ and neither does it outweigh the fact we trade a £100 Bn a year trade deficit in Goods. With Services its still a nett £70 Bn a year deficit with EU countries (the EU itself of course buys nothing – a simple fact often ignored by Remainers).

          So yes I do stand by my comment because I was referring to the EU Internal Market (aka The Single Market) where no ‘market’ for services exists in the way it does for Goods for example.

          • Yes ok you were making the distinction between a market and the actual single market I understand.

            Although just to point out, the EU has just about managed to iron out everything in regards to goods, and they are slowly but surely getting through the different types of services, article 49 and 56 of the TFEU is proof of that as they do cover some services. The EU’s aim is for all services to be included in the single market, it’s important to know these things.

            In a comment further down about the passports you blame EU law for opening up competition to different countries to win a contract, but by the sounds of it you are relying on the EU opening up its vast services sector which is 70% of its economy to a country outside of the EU, how would financial companies in Germany, France and Holland feel about that?

            Unfettered access to European markets, both goods and services, will be quite rightly pointed out by Steven, negotiated in the eventual UK-EU trade deal.

          • SoleSurvivor – So we agree there is no ‘Market’ in Services then. But you then blur two issues for some reason. The fact I want a Free Trade Deal between the EU and the UK where we share access to each other’s markets on an equal basis with certain specific safeguards does not mean I support the way the EU dominates everything else BESIDES trade within the EU. Under an FTA we agree trade rules, trade under them and have an independent arbitration mechanism. That is WAY different to having some unelected bunch of bureaucrats dictating what type of light bulbs we should use or the clearances for our electric trains under bridges built 150 years ago because we want to sell widgets to Germany.

            I am old enough to have voted Heath in so we joined the EEC. I also voted ‘remain’ in ’75 when Wilson asked us. What I was NEVER asked about was the way the EEC was changed and we were unable to defend our basic industries like fishing where we used to land 1 Mn tonnes a year in ’75 and now its less than half that. Then of course even worse came with the EU where 58% of all landings is by foreign vessels, 27 other disparate nations, massive migration and uncontrolled Directives, Regulation and Laws from a foreign power.

            Trade became Political Union. You are free to support that idea but I do not.

          • No we don’t agree there is no single market in services, there is not a full single market in services, like I said before, I am not repeating myself the second paragraph in my previous post is there for you to read.

            You have gone way off topic I will try bring it back lol

            You’re trying to tell people that services won’t be in a UK-EU trade deal from what I can gather from your original post, to which I argued it will.

            I posted the numbers of the articles in EU law which covers services.

            So are you still saying in the face of evidence that proves otherwise that some (not all but eventually will be) services are not covered under the current EU single market?

            If so I want to see evidence please, I want to see something that tells me that the EU has no plans to cover all services under EU law and i want to see evidence that the 2007 TFEU didn’t include some services.

  2. It would be ironic if the Fishermen who largely backed BREXIT got shafted to protect the UKs financial sector, which mostly voted to remain. It would also bring down the Government.

    • sjb1968 – It isn’t going to happen precisely for those reasons. Gove has already laid out the framework for ‘access’ to our waters by foreign trawlers. And we will not be bound by EU quotas but their boats will be.

      I have suggested to my MP (who happens to be a senior minister in DEFRA) that we should allocate some of the money saved from the EU to interest free loans to UK fishermen to buy new boats provided they are built in the UK. Two benefits for one expenditure.

      • Chris I agree although we are now getting to the point unlike in internal EU negotiations where the can cannot just be kicked down the road by the politicians.
        So as the real hard bargaining starts the Government is going to have to start telling some vested interests that change and pain is on the way.

  3. Well, if May , question on who in high places sanction these deals and Why???? had not just agreed to give the French £490 million for new passports = that would of paid for 4 of these new ships. Admittedly we would still have a cost to produce in UK but get a grip and get a deal!!

    • V Williamsn – I can’t let that statement pass without commenting that the contract for the Passports was run under EU procurement rules and rather than be allowed to offer it to British firms (as I would prefer for obvious reasons) the PM had to throw it open to all and sundry in the EU. And a Dutch / French firm ‘Gemalto’ undercut De La Rue the current supplier on price. Given De La Rue are a major (and often sole) supplier of banknotes and Bond documents all over the world including to the Bank of England I doubt they would be beaten on quality. De La Rue by the way, are challenging the decision and will be entitled to a review of the Dutch / French bid.

      Either way its an almighty up-cock and we should have simply extended the current De La Rue contract to Summer 2019 and then just put it out to British suppliers. THAT is the stupidity of all this not the fact we had to again see a result distorted by EU rules.

      And that ‘£490 Mn’ isn’t taxpayer money so its not Theresa May’s to ‘give’. its paid for by those buying passports ‘ £72.50 a throw ….

      • So we should now only offer government contracts domestically and hope for the best, we have to be realistic, believe it or not there are companies overseas who make things better than us and at a better price, I know for some on here they can’t comprehend that fact but it’s a fact all the same.

        Is this seriously what people are suggesting now? And how many jobs would that cost Rolls Royce etc if the US government etc followed suit. Our companies win overseas government contacts too you know.

        Surely only contracts involving national security should be only offered domestically.

        And this contract is for blank booklets that are paid for and come in batches, then we pay our £72.50 and get ours, when we pay our £72.50 the government doesn’t order a blank booklet! So it is taxpayers money in the short term. And even after that the price of the passport that we pay will obviously the into accounting how much the blank booklet was.

        I also see Donald Trump as added the EU to the exempt list for US steel tariffs, the US has backed down just like it did in 91.

        This just adds to the point, we can’t start going down a route of tit for tat trade policies because from what I’ve read it seems to never end well.

        • SoleSurvivor – well given even under EU Rules the Germans only by German kit for their Government departments and likewise French and Italian Governments support their home industries then I see no reason why we should not do the same outside the EU. The difference is we play by the EU rules the rest do not.

          And I am sorry but comparing printing passports (which is more symbolic than of value) with Rolls Royce aero or marine engines is stretching the plot somewhat.

          • No I agree with some of that Chris, I do think we should support our industries, but by other means not closing off competition, competition is always best for the consumer.

            I also strongly think that Defence, NHS, national infrastructure which could be targeted through cyber warfare and energy should be given to British companies only.

            I just don’t think blank passport booklets fall into that category, although you are right in saying it’s more symbolic, which is why you should be blaming the government who ordered them not the EU.

      • successive governments have ‘given’ away billions to foreign countries, and the u.k it is revealed contributes a full 5th of the budget to the bloated walrus that is the u.n.

        • Here is a straight lift from Wikipedia, since some appear unable to find the information themselves:

          Armament:

          Batch 1:[2]
          1 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
          2 × General purpose machine guns
          Batch 2:[3][4]
          1 × 30 mm cannon
          2 × Miniguns
          2 × General purpose machine guns

          If you want to fend off foreign trawlers I reckon a 30mm cannon will do just fine. If you want to fend off Russian cruisers, yes I do think a bit of up-gunning may be necessary. But no one is suggesting we go out and shadow the Russians with a fisheries patrol vessel.

          Just please have some perspective. This is not an issue. They have guns. Hopefully, they will never be used. Should someone bring a bigger stick to the fight, so too will the RN.

          • He/she (Peder) is just a troll Frank. I wouldn’t waste your time trying to engage in informed conversation with him. I responded to pretty much exactly the same comment in another thread including giving the accurate info on River B1 armaments but still we get him/her posting the they-have no-guns crap. Peder wants to troll/annoy not debate.

    • The SNP complaining about EU fishing boats having having access to UK fishiries ? How can anyone take them seriously on anything ?

      • And kudos to you Daniele for alerting me when he posted exactly the same nonsense on the other recent River thread and I tried to respond with facts. Clearly facts and common sense are not of any use here.

    • I don’t get the problem, why on earth do you need a gun to do fishery protection, it is effectively a policing role and do the police need guns? Can you imagine the stink if the navy shot at an unarmed fishing boat? I would argue that a water canon would be far more useful for the role, since it could actually be used.

      If for some odd reason the fishing boat was armed, the OPV could just retreat and a wildcat could be send quickly to make the fishing boat regret their decision rather quickly.

      The only time that the gun is useful is when the OPV is not operating in UK domestic waters, for example if undertaking anti piracy operations, where they might come up against an opponent that is armed, if rather lightly.

  4. Peder is a troll, probably either a rebadged TH or a colleagues of his sat in the basement of the Kremlin trying to spread false lies and talk down the UK,it is called asymmetrical warfare, hopefully your pc is about to implode by a cyber attack from gchq. Be careful Peder if you are operating from within the UK those lovely people from Mi5 and MI6 may just be about to knock on your door and send you back to Putin.
    Peder you are not a UK citizens therefore politely I would ask you to bugger off somewhere people will listen to you, like Russia Today maybe.
    Idiot!

  5. What a complete waste of money and pandering to the likes of the royal mail. UK fishing industry is a tiny tiny part of the UK economy and the whole market probably doesn’t pay enough tax to cover the running costs of a couple OPV.

    If we have to trade the fishing industry for the financial services industry, so be it. the financial services industry adds a huge amount to the tax income of the UK and is a massive employer.

    On the more positive side, this gives a role to these massively under armed ships that are realistically useless in a war situation. Saying that they are over spec for chasing fishing boats.

    • daily mail not royal mail.

      I couldn’t find the exact figure for value the fishing industry gives but here is an approx guess based on government stats on the industry.

      total UK fishing revenue is less than £1b and employes around 12000 people. Approx 20% is lost to EU but equally a large percentage of UK fish is sold into Europe which will be hit if we close our waters.

      Let’s sat 50% profit on the fish (massively too high) that’s 500m profit or around 100m in tax revenue plus extra for PAYE, although I suspect most are at lower paid end, but let’s average £20k pa or around £5k tax paid, giving another £60m. So maybe at best the industry adds around 160m to UK tax revenue of 650bilion.

      Never got the massive interest the fishing industry gets.

  6. Steve, I’m not sure if your figures are correct or not but are you not basing all your figures on what the fishery is producing now and not what it could produce if it was properly managed and stocks recovered?

    Also you are not adding in all the service industries connected with the fishing fleet, who builds the trawlers, warehouses, jetty infrastructure, net manufactures, steel cable and chain suppliers, fuel merchants, the pubs on the quay side, haulers to transport the fish and a hundred other connected industries that will return if the British fishing industry builds back up to its full potential once again.

  7. The reason that the fishing industry is such a small proportion of GDP is BECAUSE of the EU. It ‘allows’ us to take just a 9% quota of fish from our own waters. Imagine if the City was only allowed to have 9% of financial services? What would it be worth then? We need to take back control of ourown waters and protect our own future stocks from EU pirates who will send their supertrawlers to steal them.

    Our surprisingly good Sec of State has clearly convinced the Treasury of this and if Theresa Maybe reneges, then yes, the Government will fall. There are enough coastal constituencies (especially in Scotland where the Torie’s not protecting them could be wiped out again by labour resurgence) to make a motion of ‘no confidence’ an easy win.

    • this isn’t vaguely true. Post EU the available stock would increase by 20%, mainly offset by our fisherman losing access to EU waters.

      • The UK having to import it’s own fish from Europe rather than catching and exporting it is bonkers.

        Sooner the EU clears off the better.

      • Steve – While 58% of UK landings are by foreign registered vessels I doubt how the Remainers can justify saying we would not benefit by fishing our own waters. Something we did for centuries before the 1980s. We even had a barny with the Icelanders over Cod!

        I was pleased to see last year Gove did push out the foreigners from our 12 mile limit and gave a warning that post Brexit we would control our own 200 mile (or median) fishing grounds.

  8. The fish thing is just another bit of political posturing by the Brexiteer hardliners. Our miniscule fishing industry, which of course shrank further when UK owners sold off most of their licenses for larger trawlers to European boat owners, will (a) lose access to European waters in the North Sea, (b) very probably face a WTO standard tariff to sell into the EU – which will be a bit of a disaster as a large portion of the catch is sold to Europe and (c) find that there are still strict quotas on the catch, as the quotas are there to conserve stocks and prevent over-fishing, not for the kind of national protectionism that various hardliners espouse. All the big talk will not improve the fisherman’s lot one iota, they should have held on to their trawler licenses and insisted on staying in the customs union so they can sell their catch.

    Pleased that we will at least have some more OPVs around the coasts. The River 2s may be lightly armed, lack a heli hangar and be of little use in any war scenario, but at least we will have some ships at sea with trained crews. It would have been better if the Rivers had been configured to play some part in a war scenario, such as convoy escorts or auxiliary ASW reserves, with such a small number of hulls, the RN can’t afford to have 5 left out of action.They would need a weapons and sensors upgrade to be of much practical use and a heli hangar, but I doubt the design would accommodate these.

    We will get there one day, from Island to Castle to River 1 to River 2, the displacement has doubled and the armament increased, but they are still lightly-armed gunboats. The need has always been for a corvette, fitted for if not with, some ASW and air defence capability, so that it can play a useful if minor part in any conflict scenario. For the cost of a River 2, it should have been possible to produce a rather more capable minor warship.

  9. Those sniggering at today’s ‘little’ UK fishing industry are clearly too young to remember what it was like pre-EEC and even more so pre-EU. I live about 12 miles from Lowestoft and you can see the utter devastation the EU has caused there only partially relieved by the oil industry (itself now disappearing). Go to Hull, Grimsby, Peterhead and EVERY other fishing port all over the UK and see what was a huge industry that benefited hundreds of thousands of people has now become.

    The total number of fishermen is around 12,000 but its fallen from around 20,000 in the mid-1990s. That is some 40% in just 20 years. The number of fishing vessels in the UK fleet has fallen by 29% since 1996.

    And before people get clever and say how much we sell to the EU the UK is a net importer of fish, with net imports of around 290,000 tonnes in 2016, worth £1.4bn. I worked as a truck driver and while we would take high value Scottish shellfish and river Salmon to France and Spain we would then bring back fish caught in the UK by Spanish boats that fiddled quotas so they landed one batch in the UK and the rest in Spain. So basically we are buying British fish caught by Spaniards and shipped by road to the UK. It used to be British trucks did this but now its Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Latvian and God knows what other countries’ truck shipping it here. Another British industry lost to EU rules. And can someone please explain to me the sense in a British trawler having to throw dead fish back into the sea to keep to EU imposed quotas while Spaniards and French and Dutch and Danish don’t? Years ago it would have been landed by that trawler and sold for people to eat. And somehow the EU tell us its to maintain fishing stocks? …PERLEEEASE! And if our fishing industry is so damned insignificant why do these countries want a big slice of it?

    Scoff all you want but some of us have long memories and have worked up close and personal to this industry and seen how families were destroyed ….. But then these days scoffing at other’s misfortune is seen as ‘clever’ ….

    • Remoaners with more or equal loyalty to the EU which is probably all they’ve known, rather than their own nation, will likely run for the hills when faced with facts like that!

    • it’s not just the EU that has caused this problem. Britain unlike most of Europe is a consumer country driven by prices over quality or origin. If we can buy cheaper from a foreign supplier we will. That combined with tastes changing and people eating less cod and more ‘exortic’ fish and generaly less fish. Blaming it all on the EU is over simplification. there is also the move to bigger boats and fleets leading to see need for manpower.

      Finally don’t forgot the majority of fish caught by English fisherman are sold into EU and leaving will hit that hard potentially as our fish will suffer import tax.

      Using coastal patrols as a way of training navy crews is fine but let’s not pretend the fishing industry needs protecting because it adds so much to the country.

      • Steve all your points are well argued and factual but the BREXIT vote was not just driven by the things the media always go on about such as race and some kind of old fashioned nationalism. In large parts of the UK there is huge resentment towards London and the media largely miss this point because they all live in the capital.
        We have succeeded as a nation of virtually selling out every industry we have except financial services (largely London based)and the City of London has profited hugely from selling them. We now have a totally unbalanced economy with the net result investment in infrastructure, education and housing is skewed heavily towards London. Even when these greedy bastards fail and crash their businesses they are now deemed to important to fail and these crony capitalists get a bail out from the UK taxpayer. Unlike your fishermen, steel worker and builder who is of course subject to real market conditions and because they are not based in London have to suffer the consequences. It is about time for the long term stability of our country that others are considered before the London centric City gets a special deal built on sacrificing others. Think this is all rubbish, well go and read about what is happening with GKN at the moment. Classic City of London behaviour with our Government it seems unwilling to intervene. In no other similar nation such as Germany, France or US would this approach get past go.

        • My point is not pro or anti EU, its more anti the disinformation there seems around the topic.

          We will probably get some extra revenue and jobs from post brexit era but in the grand scheme of things, its a drop in the ocean compared to the UK overall situation.

          Its used because people don’t seem to be coming up with any solid examples of industry that will benefit from brexit.

          Who knows if the overall picture post brexit will be better or worse, but fishing is not going to make the difference.

          • another thing to consider is that in the 80s we had massive over fishing that almost wiped out the fishing stock in our waters. A return to that is not really an option.

      • Steve its you who are at risk of peddling misinformation to support an opinion. Quote:
        “Finally don’t forgot the majority of fish caught by English fisherman are sold into EU and leaving will hit that hard potentially as our fish will suffer import tax.”

        1. last available figures show UK registered trawlers landed 400,000 tonnes in the UK and about 250,000 tonnes abroad
        2. If the EU impose ‘Import Tax’ on UK fish then the UK will have an equivalent ‘Import Tax’ on EU landings.
        3. As I state above between 2012 and 2014 some 58% of UK fish was landed by EU registered trawlers. This is said to represent about 650,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish each year. So why would the EU want to impose an ‘Import Tax’?
        4. The UK is a net importer of fish, with net imports of around 290,000 tonnes in 2016, worth £1.4bn. which sums up the reality of how our industry has been destroyed by the EU CFP. And defeats your assetion )again) about ‘Import Tax’.

        And as a comment on your negative attitude to Brexit we will succeed or fail by our own ambitions, skills and abilities as an independent nation. We will ply our trades around the world and succeed by being better than the competition (that isn’t the same as ‘cheaper’). But we will be free from the domestic political meddling, Directives and Regulation of the EU and increasing subjugation into a Political Union controlled by a few for the benefit of those few. Not us. We are the 2nd largest contributor to the EU and yet only have 1/28th say in its proceedings. And why should we as a country be funding a Ponzi Scheme where only 6 DO contribute while 22 take out thus creating a funded ‘Client State’ of nations who can be guaranteed to support whatever the the EU Commission decide. Have a read of what ‘Qualified Majority Voting’ means.

        Given we trade some 65% of our exports already to the RoW despite being saddled by the counter effects of the EU 10% (or more) EU External Tariff and no Free Trade Deals to speak of I don’t see how we could be any worse off. The EU as a proportion of Global trade is declining and fast. The growth is in RoW trade and we need to be part of that and not saddled by the dogma of a failed and out of date political Union …..

  10. Steve I agree it won’t make any real difference and I have tried to avoid the normal pro or anti Brexit stuff but a recovery in U.K. fishing would make a real difference to many coastal communities and that is what our Government promised. That the movers and shakers in London don’t seem to understand or care that our fishing industry was shafted when we joined the EEC is hardly surprising but moving back on this and other Brexit matters would loose the Tories the next election at least.

  11. What worries me is that government is talking about rivers to protect fishing. All the stupid talk about the fishing protection, might end up with more of our limited defence budget going to addition batch 2 rivers and in turn hitting actual war fighting expenditure. If the rivers were a little better specced, additional hulls might be a positive but they aren’t. A coast guard cutter can do an equally good job as chasing fishing boats, since there is no chance they would actually fire on a EU fishing boat as the blow back was be bad.

  12. Looking at the Posts above its quite amazing how 80percent are off piste , which rather illustrates how those subscribers will happily flog their favourite horse avoiding the Matter in hand ,
    Strange

    • Not really off topic, just on a tangent. Ultimately the point is why is the navy wasting its limited resources on fishery patrols (which adds very limited amount to the economy), a task that should be undertaken by the coast guard with massively cheaper boats, and the reason is because we brought these completely useless ships to cover the lack of funds available for building the t26 earlier, and now need to find a use for them.

      We need navy ships protecting the trade through the piracy belts and combating drug traffickers, but without a permanent helicopter, they just aren’t suited for either role.

      I guess they could be useful for close escorts of convoy of ships through the horn of africa, but at the minute piracy numbers are down and so it is less called for. I am really struggling here to find a real use for these massively overpriced under specced vessels. They seem to sit somewhere between police and military vessel, but aren’t ideal for either role.

      • Combine that with a era where we have real military ships in mothball because we don’t have the sailors, it just doesn’t add up.

    • Peter Finch – It is all absolutely on topic. We are discussing fishery protection vessels and the associated fishing industry. And in particular the pending (in 12 months time) departure from the Common Fisheries Policy of the EU.

      If you can’t see the connection then that is strange not those in a sensible and informed discussion.

  13. Couple of points from this thread:

    1) HM coastguard are there to protect and keep our coasts safe, they are not a law enforcement agency (beyond health and safety) and therefore cannot enforce fishing laws, that’s why the job is given to the RN.

    2) our fishing industry did not die because of the EU it died due to greed. We trawled the F&@k out of our fish stocks in the 60-80s, trashed the sea bed and collapsed the stocks. Our fishing industry died cus we ate all the fish simple as.

    3) we will have a common fishing policy with the EU and it’s got nothing to do with politics and negation and everything to do with how complex Ecosystems work….. See fish swim a lot….. Most of our stocks migrate from southern waters in the the summer, swim passed us and head to north and then go back there as waters cool. This means if we did not have a agreement the EU could fish the crap out of a lot of the stocks when they are outside of our waters, if we then did the same when they were in our waters we would have no little fishes left in a few years and we would all be eating some farmed unnamed white fish crap from south east Asia.

    • Jonathan – if we ‘fished the fcuck out of our waters’ in the ’80s how come the EU boats could still trawl and catch hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fish in our waters? And still do?

      And please don’t say the EU saved the Ecosystem when they are the idiots who think throwing dead fish back in the sea because too much was caught in that one trawl somehow conserves fish stocks. Once a fish is caught and it has died thats it so why not land it and then delay that trawler sailing out? …… Oh wait no of course we Brits WOULD enforce that law while the Danes, Dutch, French and Spanish would just laugh and carry on as they always do ….

      • Not sure the point your making here. EU countries only count for a small percentage of fish caught in British waters and if you look at the stats the heavy trawerlers of the EU are predominately British. The throw back rule is there to avoid over fishing, if they could sell the over fished fish then there would be no incentive not to just ignore the rule. Throwing dead fish back isn’t ideal but it’s.better than having no fish stock as was almost the case prior to the rules. Of course this has nothing to do with the EU since without it we would have had to pass our own law limiting the fishing. Then again we have squandered our oil income rather than investing in the future like Norway, so maybe it was the EU that saved the stock.

        The military should never do policing rules in Britain (including waters) because they are a political tool, whilst the police have to follow the legal frame work and the courts, which should make them independent of government or at least semi independent.

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