§ Mr. Steen
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will increase the level of surveillance by the Royal Navy to fishery protection duties in the English channel off the coast of Devon; and if she will make a statement as to the level of activity that the Royal Navy is currently providing in this area.
§ Mr. Jack
Deployment of the Royal Navy's fishery protection vessels within British fishery limits takes account of the nature and level of fishing activity, as well as sightings information provided by fisheries surveillance aircraft on contract to the Ministry and local intelligence collected by the sea fisheries inspectorate. Deployment is flexible and is adjusted as and when necessary to take account of changing circumstances and the needs in particular areas. In the first four months of 1994 vessels on task to MAFF were present in ICES area VIIe, which includes the waters off south Devon, for 129 patrol days.