§ Mr. Sproat
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all vessels, aeroplanes, helicopters and personnel for which his Department is responsible that are, at the latest available date, engaged on part- or full-time fishery protection duties.
§ Mr. Duffy
At present three Island Class patrol vessels, eight Ton Class mine countermeasures vessels, two Bird Class patrol craft, the fast patrol boat HMS "Tenacity"—currently in refit—and their complements are dedicated to fishery protection. Their day-to-day operations are controlled by the Captain, Fishery Protection, and his staff. Until all five vessels of the Island Class are in service early next year, frigates are being used to fill the gap. The Royal Air Force Nimrod force provides aerial surveillance patrols at a current rate of 180 hours each month. Royal Navy Sea Devon aircraft are deployed from time to time on patrol tasks in the Irish Sea and the English Channel, and helicopters are used in response to specific requests. The Island Class vessels, frigates and Nimrods concurrently undertake deterrent patrols of offshore oil and gas installations.