§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what efforts he is making to restrict the landing of North sea haddock to avoid early closure of the fishery;
(2) if he will ensure that the organisations responsible for the management of quotas act to reduce the present glut of haddock.
§ Mr. Curry
[pursuant to his reply, 19 February 1993, c. 370–71]: We have now written to producers organisations (POs) about measures to improve the management of annual quotas with particular reference to the cod, haddock and whiting fisheries in areas IV arid VI. In our discussions with POs we had proposed a system of quarterly catch limits for cod, haddock and whiting and the periodic closures of individual fisheries to PO vessels where a PO had exceeded a quarterly catch limit by more than 10 per cent. in any quarter during the year.
In response, POs made it clear that they would prefer to be allowed to manage their sectoral allocations according to their particular circumstances and the needs of their members. After very careful consideration we have agreed that POs should continue to manage their sectoral allocations for cod, haddock and whiting without imposing the tighter discipline of quarterly catch limits, but I must emphasise that in retaining flexibility to manage sectoral allocations POs must take full responsibility for the actions of their members and the impact on markets. It is in the best interests of POs and their members that fishing activity and landings should be organised so as to provide for orderly marketing and to avoid any repeat of the early closures of fisheries which occured in 1992.