Isles MP urges for action in maritime safety debate

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has urged for action to be taken ahead of leading a debate on maritime safety in parliament today (Wednesday). 

Mr Carmichael secured the debate to discuss solutions to repeated unsafe actions by non-local fishing vessels in the waters around the Northern Isles.

Videos posted on social media last October showed the French-registered vessel Antonio Maria on collision course with the isles trawler Defiant while both boats were fishing in the waters around Shetland.

The incident was later described by fisheries minister Mark Spencer MP as a “deliberate act” after Mr Carmichael raised the issue  in parliament. 

Now, however, the Liberal Democrat said it was “unclear” what action had been taken to improve safety in British waters. 

“Any business operating like this on dry land would find themselves at the sharp end of scrutiny by the Health and Safety Executive – and rightly so,” he said. “Beyond the twelve-mile limit, however, what happens is out of sight and out of mind.”

He said this “fiasco” was the latest in the line of similar incidents in recent years.

“If we allow this to continue then it is only a matter of time before a boat goes to the bottom of the sea as a result.”


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