What is the Fishery Protection Squadron?

Introduction

The Fishery Protection Squadron is part of the Surface Fleet of the Royal Navy, the maritime component of the British Armed Forces.

What is the Role of the Fishery Protection Squadron?

The role of the Fishery Protection Squadron is to patrol the fishery limits of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – an area that covers over 80,000 square miles of sea and stretches up to 200 miles from the coastline.

Commander Fishery Protection Squadron

The Commander of the Fishery Protection Squadron is an OF-4 level officer, a Royal Navy Commander.

The Commander is assisted by a deputy, a Lieutenant Commander (OF-3).

Organisation of the Fishery Protection Squadron

The Fishery Protection Squadron is composed of a headquarters and four (will be five) River-class patrol vessels (Royal Navy, 2018):

  • HMS Tyne (P281):
    • Commanded by a Lieutenant Commander (OF-3).
    • Was the first of a trio of River-class patrol ships to be built.
    • The sixth vessel to be named Tyne.
  • HMS Severn (P282):
    • Commanded by a Lieutenant Commander (OF-3).
    • Commissioned on 31 July 2003.
    • The second River-class built by Vosper Thornycroft at their Woolston yard.
    • Decommissioned after 14 years of service in October 2017.
    • The tenth vessel to be named Severn.
  • HMS Mersey (P283):
    • Commanded by a Lieutenant Commander (OF-3).
    • The youngest of the original batch of River class patrol vessels.
    • The fifth vessel to be named Mersey.
    • Launched on 14th June 2003.
  • HMS Forth (P222) (Royal Navy, 2018):
    • Commanded by a Commander (OF-4).
    • The first of the five new Offshore Patrol Vessels being built to replace the current River-class vessels.
    • Commissioned on 13 April 2018.
    • The first vessel to be named Forth.
  • HMS Clyde (P257):
    • Commanded by a Lieutenant Commander (OF-3).
    • Currently tasked with patrolling the Falkland Islands.
    • The sixth vessel to be named Clyde.

Where is the Fishery Protection Squadron Based?

The Fishery Protection Squadron is based at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport, Plymouth in Southern England.

Interesting Facts

  • Commander Sarah Oakley became the first female Commander of the Fishery Protection Squadron.
  • “The established rank of the Commanding Officer (CO) of a River Class Batch 2 ship is Lieutenant Commander (OF-3), however, it is normal practice for the CO for the ‘First of Class’ to be at the higher rank of Commander (OF-4).”
  • Admiral Horatio Nelson – captained HMS Albemarle in 1781.
  • The Fishery Protection Squadron is a front-line squadron of the Royal Navy.
  • It is the oldest front-line squadron, originally based on the coast of North America, Iceland and the UK, patrolling much of the North Atlantic against French and American incursions.
  • Three vessels are based in the UK, while one (currently HMS Clyde) is based in the Falkland Islands.

References

Royal Navy (2018) HMS Forth is officially commissioned into the Royal Navy. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2018/april/13/180413-hms-forth-is-officially-commissioned-into-the-royal-navy. [19 June, 2018].

FOI 2018/05029 dated 11 May 2018.

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