Sunday, September 09, 2012

A better way to police illegal fishing in the Fens?

I escaped the office at lunchtime to check out the Bentinck Dock in King's Lynn, which was open today as part of the annual Heritage Open Days weekend.

One reason was to have a look on board the Three Counties - the fisheries protection vessel tied up alongside the buoy boat, tug and pilot launch on show. It's an incredibly-sophisticated boat, which is run by the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA).

It spends its time out in The Wash, monitoring the activities of the shellfish fleet and other fishing vessels, as well as keeping an eye on the health of stocks in the estuary. There's a piece to write here somewhere, when I finally get round to fixing up a trip with them.

But it got me thinking, as I admired all the hi-tech kit on board. Would the EA be able to police the Fens more effectively if they had a smaller version available to operate on far-flung stretches of our inland waterways..?

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