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Nephrops Fishery

Volume 78: debated on Monday 29 April 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps the Government are taking to ensure that any European Community measures affecting the British nephrops fishery take full account of the wide variations in biological and conservation factors in different parts of the waters around the British Isles.

I do not know what particular measures the right hon. Member has in mind, but I can assure him that in considering any measures which may be proposed I will take into account all the relevant factors which affect the United Kingdom fishing industry, including those which he has cited.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps the Government are taking, in connection with the accession of Spain and Portugal to the EEC, to safeguard British interests in the nephrops fishery in the Irish sea.

The agreement reached between the European Community and Spain and Portugal on their fishing rights in the waters of the existing member states specifically excludes their vessels from fishing in the area known as "The Irish Box", which includes the whole of the Irish sea, until the end of 1995.Total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas will be set for nephrops in areas VI, VII (which includes the Irish sea) and VIII for the first time in 1986 in order to prevent unrestricted fishing on this species by Spanish or other vessels. Spain will receive a small share, roughly corresponding to the amount she is currently allowed to catch under the by-catch provisions of the EC-Spain fisheries agreement. Until the end of 1995 she will of course be able to fish her area VII quota only outside the Irish box. Portuguese vessels will not be allowed to fish for nephrops at all in the waters of the existing member states.Proposals have yet to be made for the allocation of the nephrops TACs between existing member states. It will be the Government's aim to ensure that the United Kingdom nephrops quote in area VII adequately meets the needs of our fleet in this important and developing fishery.