§ Lord Moran
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the revised proposals referred to in Baroness Trumpington's reply to a Written Question on 13th March (Official Report, col. 74) have yet been issued and whether they are aware that the Minister for the Marine of the Republic of Ireland is now considering a number of measures for the conservation of bass as an endangered species, in addition to the measures introduced by the Irish Government in 1987.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Trumpington)
Proposals for the establishment of some 32 nursery areas for the protection of juvenile bass stocks in inshore waters off the English and Welsh coasts were issued today (8th June). We believe these to be an important part of the package of conservation measures announced earlier which also include an increase in the minimum landing size for bass and mesh size restrictions for gill and similar nets to apply from January next year. We look forward to the comments of interested parties on our nursery area proposals.
I am arranging for copies of the full set of the proposals to be placed in the library of the House. In addition, Ministers will be writing to those members of both Houses who have expressed an interest in our measures to conserve and protect stocks of bass. I am aware that the Irish Government has said that it is considering a number of measures on bass fishing, many of which appear to be aimed at reserving the fishery for anglers. We remain convinced, however, that the range of conservation measures we are taking will provide appropriate and sound protection for bass fisheries, especially to juvenile stocks, so that yields to both recreational and commercial fisheries can be improved.