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Fisheries: Crime

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 181272, tabled on 15 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to tackle illegal fishing in UK waters.

Answered on

23 April 2021

On 1 January 2021 the UK became an independent coastal state and retained the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Regulation (IUU) in UK Law. This means that imports of most fish and fishery products into the UK will need to be accompanied by a catch certificate and other relevant IUU documentation. As an independent coastal state, the UK has full responsibility over how it ensures compliance with fisheries regulations within its waters. We are committed to ensuring an effective and robust enforcement system. Control and enforcement is a devolved matter. Defra, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive continue to work together to share information and ensure a coordinated approach to monitoring, compliance and enforcement across UK waters. In England, the Government has put in place a significant increase in the number of personnel and surveillance assets dedicated to fisheries protection, including offshore patrol vessels for at-sea surveillance, and planes for aerial surveillance. This strong presence will deter against fisheries infringements, while also enabling our agencies to take robust action where they may occur.