[H]is Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester is coming to Whitehaven on the morning of Wednesday 25 July to name the new NWIFCA fisheries patrol and science survey vessel. The Duke will be joined in the ceremony by HM Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman.
A dedication of the vessel will be led by Rev George Ayoma from the Fleetwood Fisherman’s Mission.
The Whitehaven Brass band will perform before and after the ceremony.
The North Western Protector is twin hulled, 20m length, 8m beam, with 2×1100 hp Man engines and jet drives which give high power and manoeuvrability. She operates with a crew of 4 and has a 5m RIB launched via a stern ramp for inspections and boarding fishing vessels at sea.
She will be used to monitor and inspect fishing activity and collect scientific data throughout the NWIFCA District which includes coastal waters of North West England from Scottish to Welsh Borders and seaward to 6 nautical miles.
The North Western Protector opens up a host of new capabilities for the Authority and can operate in a wider range of weather conditions than was previously possible. She will be equipped with laboratory facilities, side scan sonar, drop down cameras and other survey equipment.
Cllr Keith Little said: “I am delighted that Cumbria has been able to support the new NWIFCA fisheries patrol and science survey vessel. It will be a fantastic asset for Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales, enabling local teams to protect fisheries and collect important scientific information. It’s also a fantastic example of partnership working between several agencies in the region and I’d like to place my thanks on record to all those involved.”
Dr Stephen Atkins (CEO NWIFCA) said “This vessel will greatly increase our capacity to manage fisheries and collect data on the coastal waters of the Eastern Irish Sea so that sustainable use is increased and biodiversity is better protected. North Western Protector will improve efficiency and provide high quality working conditions for Officers.”