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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 09:23 GMT
New protection boat for North Sea
North Eastern Guardian III
The 1.5m cost of the vessel was 25% funded by EU grant aid
A new 1.5m fisheries protection vessel is set to begin patrolling the waters off the east coast of northern England.

The vessel will undertake fisheries enforcement work, including inspection of catches, fishing boats and fishing gear from Tyneside to Lincolnshire.

Other duties include monitoring of fish stocks and sensitive marine habitats.

The Whitby-based North Eastern Guardian III also has state-of-the-art equipment to monitor industrial pollution and the effects of global warming on the sea.

It is currently undergoing trials to iron out "teething problems", said David McCandless, chief fishery officer of the Bridlington-based North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee.

Stronger capabilities

He said he expected the vessel would be fully operational within the next two weeks.

The 26m patrol vessel, built in Finland, also carries a rigid inflatable boat for inspecting ships at sea and a remotely operated underwater vehicle.

"The delivery of this new vessel will significantly strengthen local fisheries conservation and marine environmental monitoring capabilities," said Mr McCandless.

"It is much larger than the previous vessel so we can comfortably operate much further out into the North Sea.

"It's already been out in severe weather when we brought it back through the Baltic from Finland last week. That was a real test of its capabilities and it performed very well."

SEE ALSO
Fishing quotas: The options
20 Nov 07 |  Science/Nature
'Slight recovery' for cod stocks
19 Oct 07 |  Science/Nature

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