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Fish Conservation

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 27 June 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proposals he has for both safeguarding British interests and ensuring proper conservation in the light of the threat to cod and haddock stocks.

The United Kingdom already safeguarded its share under the common fisheries Policy of the North sea fishery available to the European Community having secured 47 per cent. of cod and 78 per cent. of haddock and for the second year running we have again in fact secured an 87 per cent. share of haddock.The best means of protecting and conserving fish stocks are setting total allowable catches to allow the stock to recover to permit catches at higher levels and to ensure technical conservation measures are effective. Total allowable catches for North sea cod and haddock for 1990 have, therefore, been set at considerably reduced levels. In addition we introduced special measures for this year to reduce the fishing of North sea haddock by means of restricting day at sea or using highly selective gear with the aim of speeding the recovery of the stock.Further, we have made proposals to the Community for measures to increase the selectivity of gear to reduce the catches of immature fish and at the forthcoming Fisheries Council my hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon (Mr. Curry) will be pressing hard for firm proposals from the Commission.