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Port Discipline And Marketing Rules

Volume 21: debated on Thursday 1 April 1982

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent representations he has received from fish producers' organisations about the extension of port discipline and marketing rules.

One producers' organisation has written seeking authority to apply its marketing rules to non-members landing fish within its economic area.

Does the Minister realise how important the work of the producers' organisations is in the fishing industry? Does he further realise how impossible it is for that work to be carried out if non-members of those organisations are not bound by the marketing rules, which provide the stability from which they profit? Will he take the representations seriously and make use of the provisions that are now available to him?

I acknowledge the important role played by the fish producers' organisations and I wish them every success in their efforts. However, it raises some further issues, which I ask the hon. Gentleman to consider. Membership of the organisations is at present on a voluntary basis. If we introduce a complusory element it will raise some problems. We are prepared to discuss the matter with the organisations and hope to do so in the months ahead.