§ Mr. James Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he has yet received the report of the preliminary inquiry into MFV "CS Forrester" which was set up on 1st August 1974; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. McNamara
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he has yet received the report of the preliminary inquiry into MFV "CS Forrester", which was set up on 1st August 1974; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Clinton Davis:
Yes. It is clear that the skipper of the "CS Forrester" did not comply with several requests from the Icelandic Coastguard vessel "Thor" to stop which were reinforced by advice from the British fisheries support vessel "Hausa", although shots were fired and hit his vessel. I consider that no useful purpose would be served by holding a formal investigation into this casualty as the facts have already been established and I have decided against taking any other action at this point in time. As hon. Members will be aware, if a vessel is discovered fishing 426W contrary to the terms of our agreements with Iceland their Coastguard has the right to stop her, and shall summon the nearest British fisheries' support vessel in order to establish the facts. Whilst the "CS Forrester" incident was an isolated one, I wish to call attention to the importance of complying with instructions to stop in cases of this kind, and to the responsibility of skippers for the safety of their ships and crews. These points are, I believe, generally well understood by the skippers of our fishing fleet.