UK MCA Detains Six Fishing Vessels in Ongoing Safety Effort
In an apparent enforcement activity designed to ensure the commercial fishing industry is maintaining safety, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency has detained six U.K. flagged fishing vessels. In recent years, the industry has had several incidents prompting the agency’s continuing efforts to enforce safety regulations.
Most recently, the MCA said it served notice to the owners of a scallop dredger, the Zara Annabel, for its failure to get its mandatory intermediate survey done in time. They were served with the notice to ensure the vessel “makes for the nearest suitable port” and to notify the crew that its UK Fishing Vessel Certificate is no longer valid.
This action brings to six the total number of UK flagged fishing vessels detained by the MCA over the past two weeks. According to the agency, they have been found to be non-compliant with multiple areas of legislation under the Merchant Shipping Act
Five of the vessels found to be in violation of the Merchant Shipping Act on a range of issues and detained, the Olivia Jean, Camm Bounteous, Camm Courageous, Noordzee, and Sea Lady, are all owned by the same fishing company, TN Trawlers Ltd. The same company has been investigated for several previous incidents.
In 2019, TN Trawlers was investigated when a worker was killed aboard one of its vessels and before that for several serious injuries aboard its ships. Previously, the MCA also fined the company for safety violations.
At the beginning of July, the MCA had also briefly detained another fishing vessel due to issues with its workers' contracts not complying with the Work in Fishing Convention and failure to pay wages. At the time the agency said the effort was done to send a signal to the fishing industry about the importance of compliance with the regulations. The vessel was later related after the MCA was satisfied that all of the issues had been addressed.
The six vessels remain in detention.