Western Australia Minister for Fisheries Norman Moore
State Budget 2010-11: New Fisheries Boat Will Patrol State’s Northern Waters
Victor P Taffa
Funding of $4 Million for a new vessel to replace an ageing long-range patrol boat is expected to help secure Western Australia’s offshore fisheries compliance activities, Fisheries Minister Norman Moore announced today.
The purpose-built vessel will replace the Department of Fisheries Patrol Vessel (PV) Walcott by 2013.
Mr. Moore said the department currently runs two 20 metre-plus patrol boats capable of operating for extended periods in remote locations and in the heavy weather conditions that buffet WA’s coast.
“Replacing the PV Walcott will help improve the State’s capacity to service the demands of fisheries compliance activities along WA’s 21,000 km of coast.” the Minister said.
“The new boat will also provide a whole of government platform to assist in emergencies at sea, whale entanglements, oil pollution incidents and future services for the Northern Gas Project and Commonwealth Marine Park surveys and compliance.”
The Minister said the department’s big patrol boats performed compliance operations, carried out research and management services for commercial and recreational fisheries, and helped manage fish habitat and protection areas.
“The long-range patrol vessels currently in service are expected to deliver more than 280 at-sea days in 2009-10, on top of providing other services along WA’s coast.” the Minister said.
“At 23m, the PV Walcott is the biggest of the two long-range patrol vessels and was purpose built to berth additional crew, operate in rough seas and remote areas and undertake patrols in WA’s north.
“The PV Walcott has also worked on joint operations with the Federal Government to apprehend foreign fishing boats during previous extended patrols in the Kimberley region.”
“By the time the new vessel is built and brought into service in 2013, the PV Walcott will have been in use for almost 15 years.
“It is important to replace the vessel, to ensure we have an efficient, up-to-date platform which will help keep the State’s fisheries sustainable.” Mr. Moore said.