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Mackerel Fishing

Volume 957: debated on Thursday 9 November 1978

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has read paragraph 49 of the Fifth Report of the Expenditure Committee for Session 1977–78 intituled " The Fishing Industry"; what is the Government's response to the specific recommendation appearing at the end of that paragraph, namely, that the special position of local communities of fishermen in Devon and Cornwall, heavily dependent upon returns from the mackerel fishing in recent years, should be fully safeguarded; and why no observations on this specific recommendation appeared in the Government observations published on 3rd November.

I have read all the Expenditure Committee's report. The report covers a very large number of points. The Government's observations concentrated on those points which the Committee picked up in its own summary of conclusions and recommendations.As regards the last sentence of paragraph 49 of the Committee's report, the Government are very conscious of the importance to South-Western fishermen of the mackerel fishery; in the mackerel licensing arrangements, we are seeking to strike as fair a balance as possible between the various conflicting interests.