§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress is being made in the installation of gear in all fishing vessels which would enable fishery protection aircraft to identify them electronically at a distance, so as to reduce the need for attempts at photography at 100 ft, given that the necessary technology has been available within the United Kingdom for several years.
§ The Minister of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sanderson of Bowden)
The potential for the use of electronic surveillance techniques is being explored both by the fisheries authorities in the United Kingdom and by the European Community. The technology does exist but the costs of fitting equipment into each fishing vessel would be substantial and it would be necessary to ensure that once installed in fishing vessels the equipment would be tamper-proof. Also legislation would be required to make the carrying of such equipment compulsory and to allow the resulting information to be used as evidence in support of prosecutions.