The Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship has carried out her first inspection of a fishing vessel in Antarctic Waters. HMS Protector met the fishing vessel while on patrol in Antarctic waters and made arrangements to carry out the inspection.
It was conducted under the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which has the primary objective to conserve the marine living resources of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica.
It was the first time that a Royal Navy ship has carried out a formal CCAMLR inspection in Antarctic waters.
The boarding officers were UK designated CCAMLR inspectors, Lieutenant’s Adam Butler and Max Parsonson. Max said: “It was the first time I have been on such a pelagic factory fishing vessel; it was fascinating to see the process.
”What we found was a clean, professionally run vessel with a friendly crew; so our tasking was straightforward on this occasion.
“Our work shows the UK’s commitment to protecting Antarctica in support of the international treaty by safeguarding the diverse range of species here. CCAMLR is one of our many tasks and it is easy to see its relevance as large fishing vessels operate increasingly in this region.”
HMS Protector is also currently hosting an international Antarctic Treaty Inspection team who are undertaking a program of formal inspections of research stations, cruise ships and yachts.
In addition the ship has a team of Royal Navy divers who are carrying out regular dives on behalf of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to survey the fauna in the area.
The Ice Patrol mission is to provide a UK sovereign presence in the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and their surrounding maritime areas, to underpin their security and good governance; and meet the UK treaty obligations and exercise rights under the Antarctic Treaty System through inspections, hydrographic charting and support to scientific research.