Fishery protection

The mission 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.

The Fishery Protection Squadron (FPS) is the oldest front line squadron in the Royal Navy. With a small headquarters staff based in Portsmouth Naval Base, the Squadron comprises 3 River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels in UK waters and one Offshore Patrol Vessel (Helicopter) stationed as the Falkland Isles Patrol Vessel.

The primary task of the Royal Navy, in its role of patrolling UK's Extended Fisheries Zone, is its involvement in the highly emotive and politically sensitive UK and European fishing industry. The introduction of the River Class has drawn attention to the FPS, highlighting the valuable task that all ships in the Squadron perform.

These versatile ships are able to operate with helicopters, and could be utilised in the maritime counter terrorism, counter-drug surveillance or pollution control role in addition to their core tasking of fishery protection. 

The operational programme of the FPS takes its ships to many ports in the United Kingdom and the West Coast of Europe where they routinely 'fly the flag' and play a key public relations role during port open days and fish festivals. Each ship and every person in the Squadron plays a vital part in sustaining the complex tapestry of our Economic Exclusion Zone control.

What we are doing

Protecting the British fishing industry

Why we are there

Safeguarding the nation's fishing stocks

Protecting our economy

Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the UK economy and industry. 95% of Britain’s economic activity depends on the oceans. And every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion.

The UK is so dependent on the seas for its prosperity, that without the Royal Navy acting as a deterrent the effect on the economy would be overwhelming.

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

Location UK

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