§ Mr. Gareth Wardell
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the best estimated number of British fishing vessels that are illegally fishing in United Kingdom waters in contravention of either licensing arrangements under the Sea Fish Licensing Order 1992—SI, 1992 No. 2633—as varied by SI 1993 No. 188 and SI 1993 No. 2291, or registration arrangements under the Merchant Shipping Act 1988.
§ Mr. Jack
It is impossible to estimate the numbers of vessels that are fishing without licences or while unregistered. Any that come to light will be investigated. The Sea Fish Licensing Order 1992 came into force on 13 November 1992. Since that date, we have taken no prosecutions for fishing without a licence nor for contravention of registration arrangements under the Merchant Shipping Act, but one case is pending.