asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what scientific evidence he has received about the dangers to mackerel stocks from over-fishing in the South-West; and what arrangements he proposes for a controlled reduction of catches next season.
The most recent authoritative scientific assessment of the state of the western mackerel stock which is fished off the south-west of England was contained in the 1979 report of ICES advisory committee for fisheries management. This report included a recommendation that the 1980 TAC for this stock should be reduced to 330,000 or 355,000 tonnes depending on the TAC set for North Sea mackerel. The decisions announced on 18 December to re- agreed on 29 January to arrangements under which EEC member States are to report monthly to the Commission on landings in their ports and on landings outside the EEC and transhipments by their vessels. This will help catches by EEC fleets to be monitored in relation to the total allowable catches also agreed by the Council on 29 January.