Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written to Transport Minister Grant Shapps and Fisheries Minister George Eustice, calling on them to consider an amendment to the Fisheries Bill which is under consideration, to enhance the enforcement powers of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in UK waters. The call for stronger jurisdiction over the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) comes after the latest in a series of unsafe incidents provoked between vessels in Scottish fishing grounds, with no UK agencies accepting responsibility for enforcing safe behaviour.
Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:
“We already know that we could and should have been enforcing better behaviour in fisheries even before Brexit, as recent cases have demonstrated. After we leave the transition period on the 31st of December there will be no more excuses.
“The government needs to think seriously about how we will practically manage our waters and enforce the law in future. There needs to be a clear mechanism for enforcement and clarity on the agency with jurisdiction. If ministers just sit on their hands then even after we take back control of fisheries we will still face dangerous incidents like the case of the Pesorsa Dos, with local fishermen the ones to suffer. That has to change.”