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Illegal Fishing

Volume 983: debated on Friday 25 April 1980

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the evidence of illegal catching of fish provided by the film shown on " World in Action " on 21 April, if he will take further action to prevent illegal fishing by foreign vessels in British waters; and if he will make representations to the French authorities about the conduct of their officials in this matter.

We maintain a substantial fishery protection effort aimed at preventing illegal fishing within our fishery limits. Our fishery protection forces carry out a large number of boardings at sea and inspections in port; and whenever we find sufficient evidence of our fisheries regulations being infringed we prosecute. This effort will continue.As regards the enforcement of fisheries regulations in other countries, this is primarily a matter for the authorities there and, where Community obligations are concerned, for the Commission of the European Community. I will, however, bear in mind allegations which have been made.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the compliance of imported poultry meat with the requirements of the European Community directive on immersion chilling.

Under the imported food regulations we have progressively been requiring non-member countries of the European Community exporting fresh poultry meat to this country to comply with the rules of the European Community poultry hygiene directives, including those relating to the immersion chilling process. With effect from 1 May, when imports from the United States will be subjected to these rules, no imports of fresh poultry meat will be permitted which do not satisfy these requirements. It is intended to apply soon the same requirements to imports of processed poultry products. This will require an amendment to the imported food regulations which is in preparation.