The Marine Scotland vessel Jura expelled an Irish trawler from UK waters off Rockall on Monday.
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of “contact between an Irish fishing vessel and a Marine Scotland patrol vessel” and was now in contact with Scottish and UK authorities.
Skipper of the ‘Northern Celt’ Adrian McClenaghan told RTÉ News he had been issued with a temporary licence to fish in UK waters but that the permission came with a stipulation that he cannot fish within 12 nautical miles of Rockall. That is because it is classed as an ‘EU vessel’.
McClenaghan was quoted in the Irish Examiner as saying:
“We were fishing in Rockall and members of the crew from the Jura boarded us. They informed us that we could no longer fish inside the 12-mile limit of Rockall. The Scottish navy are continuing to patrol and we’re waiting on further instructions from the Department of Foreign Affairs on what their next move will be.”
Readers should be aware that there is no such thing as “the Scottish Navy”, the vessels belongs to Marine Scotland, a civilian organisation in Scotland responsible for leading the protection of Scotland’s coastal waters and seas. Marine Scotland is responsible for enforcing the Marine (Scotland) Act in devolved areas such as commercial fishing.
The Irish Times also make the mistake of referring to “the Scottish Navy” here.
MPV Jura was built at Ferguson’s Shipyard, Port Glasgow. She was launched in 2005 and entered service in March 2006. Currently the largest vessel in the agency fleet at 84 metres in length and with a tonnage of 2,181. She has a crew of 17, a top speed of 18 knots and is used mainly for offshore enforcement tasks.