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North Sea Herring Ban

Volume 983: debated on Thursday 24 April 1980

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many vessels by nationality have been prosecuted for infringements of the North Sea herring ban since it was imposed.

Prosecutions have been brought by United Kingdom Government Departments in respect of four United Kingdom vessels and two Dutch vessels for offences against the ban on fishing for herring in the North Sea which came into effect in February 1977.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has about the illegal catching of herring in the North Sea by French and Belgian fishing vessels; and whether he will initiate inquiries into the policing of such catches by the French and Belgian authorities.

United Kingdom fishery protection vessels have found no recent evidence of French or Belgian vessels fishing for herring in that part of the North Sea within British fishery limits. I understand, however, that the French authorities have instituted legal proceedings against 17 French vessels for alleged illegal landings of herring in Boulogne. Enforcement is a matter for the coastal State concerned.