Britain sends reinforcements to Biscay tuna war
Monday 08 August 1994
Alan Harris, a lawyer acting for the boat's owner, speaking outside Devonport naval base, near Plymouth, last night, said the Charisma's nets were 2,653 metres long. The maximum length of drift net allowed in European Union waters is 2,500 metres (1.6 miles).
The Charisma, was brought back to Devonport after allegations from Spanish fishermen that the drift nets used by some British boats were illegally long.
Mr Harris said: 'We think that when we bought the nets they were right, when they were loaded they were right, when they were measured before they set off they were right and we think that when they were used they were stretched or came under some kind of strain.'
As Charisma returned yesterday her skipper, Barrie Ball, claimed that fishery protection officers had used sledgehammers and crowbars to smash their way into the wheelhouse when they took charge of his boat. When initially boarded, Mr Ball had been reluctant to head for Devonport, saying he wished to return to his home port of Newlyn to land his catch.
Two police officers and half a dozen officials from the Ministry of Agriculture last night supervised unloading of the nets and their removal for measurement. Representatives of the Newlyn fishing community were allowed to witness the measuring.
As they did so another Cornish boat, the Silver Harvester, set off back for the tuna fishing grounds where last week four Spanish boats surrounded her and cut her nets.
On Saturday the fishery protection vessel HMS Alderney joined the Charisma to escort her back to England and put four officials on board with orders for her to head for Devonport. Mr Ball refused to comply and the ships's owner, his father, Barrie Ball senior, gave orders to his son to continue heading for Newlyn.
Early yesterday Mr Ball and his crew locked themselves in the wheelhouse and the officials smashed their way in and took control of the boat. The skipper said of the incident: 'It was very frightening - someone hammering on the door and someone coming round with a 14lb sledgehammer. I think it is downright ridiculous escorting one of their own into Devonport for no reason.'
As the Charisma was being escorted to Devonport anger continued to mount in the Newlyn fishing community.
The fishermen met to discuss the crisis in their tuna fishing fleet. David Harris, Conservative MP for St Ives and spokesman for the meeting said: 'The Spanish are trying to force us off these fishing grounds - that's what all this is about. It's not about lengths of nets, it's not about catching methods, it's a blatant attempt to drive our fishermen off these grounds where they have a right to be - it's a blatant attempt at thuggery on the high seas.'
Mr Harris called for a Navy frigate to be sent to the Bay of Biscay to protect the British boats, and insisted the Government should pay compensation to the fishermen for the lost nets and catch.
Privatise the sea, page 15
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Russia unveils plans for high speed railway and superhighway to connect Europe and America
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is in the serviced...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is in the serviced...
£12000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: his is a unique opportunity to ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Summarises financial status by ...