§ 100. Mr. Bowden
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will institute proceedings against those responsible for illegal fishing inside the six-mile limit off the Sussex coast by Belgian trawlers between 18th and 27th January, 1972.
§ Mr. Prior
I have no firm evidence that foreign fishing vessels were fishing within the six-mile limit off the Sussex coast during the period in question. The weather conditions for much of the period made this virtually impossible and the indications suggest that the vessels seen within the six-mile limit were seeking shelter. The area was kept under surveillance by a fishery protection vessel, without finding any evidence of poaching offences, although a Belgian skipper was charged on 31st January for stowage of gear offences.