§ 13. Lady Tweedsmuir
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he is taking to protect British fishing vessels and their gear from the activities of certain foreign ships, of which he is aware, in the vicinity of the Faroes.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ian Harvey)
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the loss of fishing gear recently incurred by the Aberdeen trawler "Bilsdean". This and other incidents which have occurred in the vicinity of the Faroes are now being investigated. If any diplomatic action is necessary, this will be taken when the results of the investigations are known.
§ Lady Tweedsmuir
Is my hon. Friend aware that Russian ships are not only endangering the lives and property of our vessels near the Faroes, but recently off Norway as well, and that yesterday our ships putting into Aberdeen reported the loss of 106 nets due to Russian ships? Can he, therefore, not make immediate representations to the Russian Government, and at the same time also ensure that there should be a fishery protection boat in these areas?
§ Mr. Harvey
The reply to the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question is that we are also investigating the incidents to which she has referred, and we must, of course, be governed by the outcome of that investigation. The Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, and we shall bear this in mind.