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Gill Nets

Volume 930: debated on Thursday 21 April 1977

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17.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has any plans to ban the carrying at sea of gill nets intended to be used for cod fishing.

Will the hon. Gentleman confer with his Scottish counterpart, because there are rumours that that right hon. Gentleman may indeed be considering such a measure? Will he also make it clear to the fishing industry that the measure will not be proceeded with, as there is a great deal of concern among fishermen who have invested money in nets of this kind?

I think that the answer which I gave may be reassuring to the hon. Member. His concern probably arises from the use of gill nets for salmon and other means of fishing. I understand that these matters are under review.

Can my hon. Friend tell the House whether, when he has visited Humberside, he has met a vessel owner, skipper, deckhand or anyone in the industry who believes that Mr. Gundelach and his colleagues will get any settlement in the Icelandic dispute? Even worse, is he aware of the scepticism among all members of the industry about any settlement with third party agreements, particularly concerning Soviet waters?

Order. I think that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) is referring to the previous Question. I may be wrong, but this one appears to be about gill nets.

Mr. Speaker, please allow me to state that you are not wrong. I was hoping to get some information.

Can the Minister tell us whether he believes it fair that the Scots are the only fishermen in the EEC who are not allowed to drift-net for salmon? When will he do something about it?

This is a matter which concerns my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. I believe that the hon. Gentleman is aware that the matter has been under review.