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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL13175, tabled on 9 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to enforce the UK's fishing rights.

Answered on

23 February 2021

As an independent coastal state, the UK has full responsibility over how it ensures compliance in its fisheries. All fishing vessels in UK waters are required to fish in accordance with UK laws and the conditions of their licences. As control and enforcement is a devolved matter, Defra, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Irish Executive work together to share information and ensure a coordinated approach to monitoring, compliance and enforcement across UK waters.

In England, the Government has undertaken a significant increase in the number of personnel and surveillance assets relating to fisheries protection with a sizeable increase in personnel, an increase in the number of planes available for aerial surveillance and an increase in the level of at-sea surveillance. This strong presence will deter against fisheries infringements, while also enabling our agencies to take robust action where they may occur. In addition, the Joint Maritime Security Centre has been established to enhance joint working between maritime agencies, increase information sharing across Government and maximise benefit from surveillance assets. This enables a more efficient, effective and prioritised maritime patrol enforcement.