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Faroe Islands (Fishery Limits)

Volume 641: debated on Friday 5 May 1961

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34.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Danish Government has made representations to Her Majesty's Government about the extension of fisheries limits round the Faroe Islands.

Will the Lord Privy Seal bear in mind that if such representations are made as has been suggested in the Press for the extension of the Faroese fishing limits, it will be an extremely severe blow to the middle-water section of the fishing fleet, and, coming on top of the extension of the Icelandic limits, would be a serious situation for the whole fishing industry?

I fully appreciate that. At the same time, by the terms of the Anglo-Danish Agreement of 1959 about the Faroese fisheries, if no general convention regulating the breadth of the territorial sea and fishing limits has been arrived at by 27th October this year, this Government and the Danish Government have to consider whether any modifications should be made to the Agreement.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Danish Foreign Minister has said that he intends to ask for an extension of the limit to 12 miles? Will he do his utmost to protect the interests particularly of the Scottish fishermen, in view of the fact that Aberdeen, for example, gets 42 per cent. of her catch from the Faroese waters? Secondly, what consultations have taken place and has any agreement been reached on the enforcement of the present fishing limits?

In reply to the last part of the question, I would point out that there are other Questions on the Order Paper to be answered later. Of course, Her Majesty's Government will do everything in their power to protect the interests of the British fishing industry in any consultations or negotiations which may take place.