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Plaice Quota

Volume 181: debated on Monday 26 November 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy to consult the Lowestoft Fishing Vessel Owners Association along with other interested parties on all North sea fisheries matters and in particular plaice swaps.

The more fragmented the representation of the fishing industry the more difficult it is for the industry to give effective expression to its views on matters about which it is consulted. Moreover, for practical reasons, Fisheries Departments are unable to consult every organisation and individual on every point of fisheries policy. The principal channels of consultation with the fishing industry are therefore through the primary representative organisations. However, the Lowestoft Fishing Vessel Owners Association are provided with copies of all consultation papers on general fisheries policy matters and are able to attend the monthly area IV and VI meetings at which North sea non-sector fisheries matters are discussed. Moreover, we recognise that the association has a major interest in North sea plaice and, if it seemed that a proposed quota swap might lead to restrictions having to be imposed on their members fishing, we would consult the association.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effect of the year by year conceding of United Kingdom plaice quota to European competitors on the plaice fishermen of Lowestoft.

Quota exchanges between member states are always entered into without prejudice to the distribution of quotas in future years.