Deep sea fishermen must notify every trip –

Deep sea fishermen must notify every trip Published:  16 March, 2009

BRITAIN’S deep sea fishermen will have to notify every trip they make with the new UK Border Agency – or face the risk of criminal prosecution, it was revealed at the weekend.

It is not clear yet with the rules apply to those vessels simply leaving UK territorial waters on a normal fishing trips or only those who plan to put into foreign ports during the course of their voyages.

But many trawlers are often forced to divert to other countries for a number of unplanned reasons such as when a crewman is suddenly taken ill or if the vessel needs urgent repairs. The UK Border agency is expected to demand personal details such as passport numbers – if a trawlermen has one. The catching industry is almost certain to view the measures are another bureaucratic burden on top of what they regard as a growing mountain of red tape.

The new rules are not just aimed at fishermen, but include the travel plans and personal details of every UK citizen going abroad, whether for holiday, business or work purposes. The government has said that the measures are necessary to combat terrorism, illegal immigration, drug smuggling and other serious crimes.

Reports suggest that all trawlermen will have until 2014 to comply with the new regulations and will be expected to use the internet to inform the UK Border Agency each time they leave the country. The penalties for non compliance are likely to include a fine of up to £5,000.