The Royal Navy and Fishery Protection
From the Fourteenth Century to the Present
Imprint: Seaforth Publishing
320 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, 20 mono illustrations
- October 2023
Historically there have been two main reasons why protecting fishing vessels was so important: first, fish have always constituted an essential part of the nation’s diet while, secondly, fishermen have been an important source of skilled personnel for the Royal Navy itself. It is claimed that the Fishery Protection Squadron (FPS) is the oldest in the fleet, pre-dating the formal creation of the Navy itself in the early part of the sixteenth century, yet it still remains comparatively little-known. The Squadron’s most famous operations were the ‘Cod Wars’ of 1958–76, but for six centuries it has been engaged in the many important tasks of protection and policing of fishing fleets, though more recently it has turned its attention to patrolling oil and gas fields, overseeing quotas and sustainability, and policing the ongoing disagreements over who can fish where and when.
The author covers subjects as diverse as the battles with the Dutch for dominance in the North Sea, the protection of fishing on the eastern seaboard of America, and the role of the Squadron in the two World Wars. Containing many first-hand accounts, this thought-provoking narrative will be of particular interest to all those RN personnel who have served in the Squadron, and is set to become the definitive account of this vital but often unsung component of Britain’s naval forces, and its impact on national life.