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Fisheries Grant

Volume 981: debated on Monday 24 March 1980

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many producer's organisations could qualify for the £2 million fisheries grant.

All Fish Producers' Organisations recognised by Her Majesty's Government under the terms of article 5 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 100/76 will be eligible for allocations from the available sum of £2 million. At present there are nine such bodies, but others may successfully seek recognition in the next few months and so qualify for payments under the scheme announced on 13 March.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will specify the types of exploratory voyages that will qualify for the recently announced fisheries grant.

Full details of the programme of exploratory voyages will be determined in the light of the response to an open invitation to tender which will be published in the fishing press later this week. At this stage however, we hope to extend the programme of voyages to assess the commercial potential of horse mackerel (scad) which was announced on 27 November last year and to widen the area of search; to continue the assessment of stocks of demersal fish in the area of the Celtic Sea and to make similar voyages to the north of Ireland; and to introduce additional programmes in respect of blue ling, blue whiting and squid, stocks known to be present in commercial quantities to the west and north-west of Scotland at certain times of the year, but not currently exploited by British vessels. In these ways we intend to build on the useful experience already gained from earlier programmes and to widen the scope of exploration in terms of both areas and species of fish.We shall also be inviting fishermen to suggest any other stocks, grounds or gear which they feel could usefully be the subject of commercial assessment. Any proposals will, however, have to be scrutinised most carefully to ensure that each programme undertaken has sufficient resources allotted to it to ensure a scientifically satisfactory assessment.The results of the voyages will be published for the benefit of all fishermen.