§ Mr. James Johnson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further measures he proposes to introduce to conserve fish stocks.
§ Mr. John Silkin
The Government yesterday sought the Commission's approval, in accordance with annex VI of the Hague agreement of November 1976, to the introduction from 1 June 1979 of the following measures to conserve fish stocks within United Kingdom fishery limits:
- (a) a minimum mesh for whitefish of 75 mm (single-twine), 80 mm (double-twine) in the whole of NEAFC region 2 except the Irish Sea (ICES area Vila);
- (b) a minimum mesh for nephrops of 70 mm (single-twine), 75 mm (double-twine) in the whole of NEAFC region 2;
- (c) a minimum landing size for whiting of 27 cm;
- (d) a maximum by-catch for nephrops of 50 per cent.; and a minimum landing size for nephrops of 86 mm.
The Government have made it clear to the Commission that Her Majesty's Government would prefer it if before 1 June the Community adopted equally effective regulations to apply throughout all the waters of member States in NEAFC region 2; but that, in the absence of such Community action, United Kingdom national measures will be necessary.