HC Deb 23 February 1979 vol 963 cc327-8W
Mr. Ernest G. Perry

asked the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied with the progress of the current South-Western mackerel fishery.

Mr. John Silkin

I have been keeping the progress of this winter's south-western mackerel fishery under close review. The United Kingdom fleet caught some 100,000 tonnes during the 1978 part of this fishery and in the first six weeks of this year has caught a further 72,000 tonnes. In these circumstances, having regard to the recommended total allowable catch of 435,000 tonnes and to the requirements of the further phases of the western mackerel fishery due in the summer off the west of Scotland and in the winter of 1979–80 off the south-west, I have decided that fishing for mackerel by vessels subject to the mackerel licensing scheme should be suspended in ICES areas VI and VII from midnight on Saturday 10 March until midnight on Saturday 2 June. Handliners and vessels of less than 40-ft. registered length are not subject to licensing and will be able to continue fishing for mackerel.

North Sea oil work. My right hon. Friend does not consider that any change in these arrangements is necessary.

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