Questioning by Janet Finch-Saunders MS in the Welsh Senned has confirmed that the fisheries patrol vessel (FPV) Lady Megan (pictured), bought by the Welsh government for £2.6m, has only undertaken 50 patrols during the last three financial years.
The vessel, delivered new to its home port of Conwy on the North Wales coast in early 2019, is a high- performance catamaran, designed to be ‘workable in all weathers’. It carries a stern-launched RIB to allow safe and easy boarding of vessels when on patrol.
Lesley Griffiths MS, minister for rural affairs and North Wales, confirmed: “Fisheries Patrol Vessel (FPV) Lady Megan has undertaken 24 patrols out of Conwy during the last three years; 26 patrols have also been undertaken from other North Wales marinas during this period. A shortfall in crew, and maintenance work, has impacted the number of days Lady Megan has been able to patrol. We are taking steps to address this issue.”
Commenting on the response received from the minister, Janet Finch-Saunders said: “The Welsh government has a long history of badly managing their vessels. In 2019 I disclosed that a fleet of three had only seen a total of 63 patrols in 26 months, and now we know that the FPV Lady Megan has only undertaken 50 patrols in 1,095 days!”
The Welsh government operates two other patrol vessels, the Rhodri Morgan, a 26m monohull based in Milford Haven, and a smaller RIB, Catrin, based in Pwllheli.
FN contacted the Welsh government for further comment, but had not received a reply as we went to press.
This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.
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