HC Deb 22 March 1979 vol 964 c683W
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:

  1. (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);
  2. (b) a minimum mesh for nephrops of 70 mm (single-twine), 75 mm (double-twine) in the whole of NEAFC region 2;
  3. (c) a minimum landing size for whiting of 27 cm;
  4. (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.

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