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Falkland Islands

Volume 172: debated on Tuesday 15 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made in introducing direct flights from the mainland of South America to the Falkland Islands.

Several charter flights have recently been made between the Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas in Chile; more are planned, by a variety of commercial operators.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will introduce a fishery conservation area around South Georgia.

We have no present plans to do so; fishing in the waters around South Georgia is already controlled by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), of which the United Kingdom is an active member. We fully support the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources' efforts, and are working to make them more effective.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the voluntary restraint agreements which have been negotiated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with respect to waters surrounding the Falkland Islands and South Georgia outside of the Falklands Islands conservation zone.

No formal agreements have been negotiated by the FCO. After direct negotiations with the Falkland Islands Government, fishing associations from Korea, Japan and Taiwan undertook to limit their fishing activity this year in the south Atlantic as a whole. In return their members were allocated licences to fish within the Falkland Islands interim conservation and management zone. These arrangements are intended to promote the effective conservation of migratory fish stocks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to equate the Argentinian and British military notification zones.

The notification zones specified in the interim reciprocal information and consultation system (IRICS) agreed with Argentina in Madrid in February are part of a comprehensive and balanced package of reciprocal measures.As I said in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesham (Mr. Arnold) on 16 February, this series of measures is intended to increase confidence in the region.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will extend the Falkland Islands fisheries conservation zone;(2) if he will extend the Falklands Islands territorial fishery zone to 200 miles on the same basis as that applied to the coastal waters of Argentina.

We have no present plans to extend the Falkland Islands interim conservation and management zone (FICZ).

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with representatives of the residents of the Falkland Islands their view on the possibility of incorporating the Falkland Islands into the United Kingdom.

The elected councillors have not expressed any wish that incorporation of the islands into the United Kingdom be considered.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the measures being undertaken to preserve fish stocks in the waters surrounding South Georgia.

Fishing in the waters surrounding South Georgia is controlled by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), of which the United Kingdom is a member. The current conservation measures imposed by CCAMLR are:

  • (a) Chaenocephalus aceratus—no direct fishing allowed Pseudochaenichthys georgianus—no direct fishing allowed
  • Notothenia squamifrons—no direct fishing allowed
  • (b) Notothenia gibberifrons—no direct fishing allowed, total allowed by-catch 300 tonnes
  • (c) Dissostichus eleginoides—no specific measures, but agreement that there will be no increase in fishing in 1990 over 1989.
  • (d) Champsocephalus gunnari—Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 8,000 tonnes
  • (e) Patagonotothen brevicauda guntheri—TAC of 12,000 tonnes
  • In addition, commercial fishing is not allowed within the 12-mile territorial sea.