§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs how many fishing vessels will be restricted to 15 days at sea under EC Regulation 2371/2002 in(a) England and Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) Northern Ireland; and how many will be (i) whitefish vessels using mesh size over 100mm,(ii) beam trawlers using mesh size above 80mm and (iii) gill netters. 
§ Mr. Morley
The 15-day restriction applies to vessels using demersal towed gear of at least 100mm or beam trawl gear of at least 80mm in the designated areas. It is for owners to decide what gear they should use in the future, and thus determine how many vessels will be affected in 2002.
However, on the basis of activity during 2002, and excluding vessels that were decommissioned during the year, 807 over 10 metre UK vessels used the three gear types specified in the designated area at some time during the year. The breakdown of the nationality of these vessels is given below.
England & Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK Number of vessels using one or more of the three gear types specified during 2002 189 585 33 807 Of which, using: demersal trawl of at least 100mm mesh size 113 392 30 535 beam trawl of at least 80mm mesh size 45 3 3 51 gill nets and other static demersal nets 42 410 0 452
- 1. Gill nets and other static demersal nets can be used for up to 16 days per month under the EU regulation.
- 2. Some vessels use more than one type of gear in a year. For example, in 2002 228 vessels used both demersal trawl of at least 100mm and gill nets in the designated area, and 3 vessels used both beam trawl and demersal trawls.
- 3. Under the Regulation, where a vessel uses more than one type of gear in a month it is entitled to the average of the number of days permitted for each gear type.