Local MP Caroline Dinenage today raised her concerns over the future of the Fishery Protection Squadron in a question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Caroline questioned whether DEFRA saw an enduring role for the Royal Navy in fishery protection; given that present arrangements are due to expire in 2013.
The Fishery Protection Squadron is the oldest front-line squadron of the Royal Navy with responsibility for patrolling the UK's Extended Fisheries Zone. Just some of their many responsibilities include protecting our energy reserves, keeping our vital sea lanes open and preventing acts of terrorism.
Caroline said, “At a time when the demand for the Navy’s services has arguably not been greater, surely there is a strong case for the FPS to be preserved.”
In response, the Minister responsible, Richard Benyon agreed that the FPS performed a vital role for our country and revealed that the Government was in advanced negotiations for securing the future of the FPS post 2013.
Caroline added “The work carried out by the FPS in fishery protection and maritime defence is vital. I am pleased that the Government has stated its firm intention to preserve this valuable arm of the Navy and I look forward to its future being secured soon.”