§ 40. Mr. James Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many vessels are currently under construction for fishery protection purposes.
§ Mr. Duffy
Five new Royal Navy ships of the Island class were ordered in 1975 for future offshore tasks including fishery protection and the protection of oil and gas installations. The first ship, HMS "Jersey", is already in commission; the other four are under construction and are due to come into service during 1977. The new ships will be in addition to those in service with the Fishery Protection Squadron and to the fishery protection vessels operated by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland.
§ 45. Mr. Edwin Wainwright
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to provide protection for the North Sea oil rigs.
§ Mr. Duffy
As the House is already aware, the Ministry of Defence conducts deterrent air and sea patrols of North Sea installations on behalf of the civil Departments concerned. In the event of a specific incident which threatens an installation, or whenever additional protection is considered necessary, the resources of all the Armed Forces can be deployed as required.140W