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Minister at Sea 12 August 2004

Bill Henderson MHK, the newly appointed Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, spent a day recently on the Isle of Man fisheries protection vessel Barrule. The Minister gained a first hand view of the vessel during a routine day operation at sea, and also participated in a boarding and inspection of the Manx trawler/scalloper Marida DO37.

The Minister said:

"I learned a great deal during this exercise , both about the working practices on board, and the practical problems that our fisheries officers face when enforcing our fisheries regulations and the overall remitt and roll of the section.

"These regulations are in place to ensure a sustainable future for all fishermen working within the Manx Territorial Sea, an industry facing increasing problems and pressures which we have to assist with as best we can. I was pleased to see the professionalism and skill that our officers bring to the job. But importantly, the way in which the crew interact with the industry engendering a confidence with fishermen rather than a formal authoritarian approach which hinders good working relationships.

"It was also extremely helpful for me to spend some time on board a working fishing vessel, and I am grateful to Mr Pinnington, skipper of the Marida, for explaining aspects of his job to me. I am hoping to follow this up with a full working day on board the vessel, to gain a greater insight into the job, and to the problems that fishermen have to cope with on a daily basis."

The mfv Barrule was built for DAFF in response to the need for a vessel to protect fisheries within the Isle of Man Territorial Sea, and extension from three to twelve miles limit. Working with a crew of 4, the vessel is capable of launching a fast rigid inflatable vessel, allowing officers to make inspections at sea in all but the toughest weather conditions.

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