Demand for answers from PM over Russian vessels

A fisherman has demanded action from the Prime Minister over Russian fishing activity in the UK’s shared zone with Faroe.

First mate on the Altaire, Colin Leask, has written to Boris Johnson stating 75,000 tonnes of blue whiting are being fished west of Shetland by Russian factory ships.

In one instance, he said there were 11 Russian vessels just 100 nautical miles due west of Shetland.

They were, he said, freely towing their nets inside UK waters while under sanctions against Russia – imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.

And Mr Leask said the vessels were also fishing on a “ridiculously inflated” quota of 75,000 tonnes – granted to Russia by the Faroese government.

“With Russia still carrying out horrific atrocities against the Ukrainian people on a daily basis, and with the EU and UK supposedly having strict sanctions set in place against Russia, how are 11 Russian factory ships allowed to openly fish in UK waters?

“How can the Faroese government be in a position to grant Russia an allocation of 75,000 tonnes of blue whiting quota to be fished within UK waters?”

Mr Leask pointed to a bilateral agreement signed in November last year which set in place a mutual quota allocation, with Faroe authorities permitting Russia access into their waters – including a special shared zone between Faroe and the UK.

He added: “This irresponsible allocation of quota by Faroe in the long term will be devastating for the UK pelagic sector.”


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