A NEW boat which will patrol Welsh waters hunting out illegal fishing activity has been officially named after former first minister Rhodri Morgan.

FPV Rhodri Morgan, a 26-metre, 75-ton patrol vessel, carries Mr Morgan's name and an illustration of dolphins chasing mackerel to reflect his fondness of spotting dolphins in west Wales, and also has room for a 6.5-metre sea boat.

The Welsh Government's energy, planning and rural affairs secretary Lesley Griffiths, accompanied by Mr Morgan's widow, Cardiff North AM Julie Morgan, ceremoniously poured champagne on the vessel to officially name it on Wednesday.

It will be part of a fleet of five boats sailing Wales' waters, which will be in operation from January.

Ms Griffiths said: “It’s an honour to be able to name this vessel after Rhodri Morgan today - a man who gave so much to Wales and left an indelible mark on our history. This will be a fitting tribute to someone who had a great love of the Welsh seas and our wonderful nature.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my tour of this new patrol vessel and seeing first hand the cutting edge technology that will be leading the fight against illegal fishing activity.

“These vessels will be at the forefront of protecting Welsh waters and our fishing industry, providing a high speed response capability to ensure Wales continues to effectively enforce fisheries and marine laws.

“Ahead of the challenges that we face in a post-Brexit world, it is more important than ever that we focus on sustainability and ensuring our fishing industry is at its strongest possible so we can thrive in the years to come.”

Mr Morgan was Wales' first minister from February 2000 until December 2009, when he stepped down. He died in May 2017, aged 77.