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Fishing Quotas

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 7 March 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What action they plan to take at the Inter-Governmental Conference to deal with quota hopping.

There is an inconsistency underlying the quota regime of the Common Fisheries Policy, in that the quotas allocated to each member state do not always benefit the fishing communities of that member state. This is because the eligibility for quotas and their administration by member states has to take full account of general treaty provisions—for example, on right of establishment and freedom of movement. This has undermined the benefit which the UK fishing industry has been able to secure from the fishing opportunities available to it under the Common Fisheries Policy. We shall be pursuing this. In particular, we shall be exploring at the IGC whether there are treaty changes which could be made which would help to ensure that the fishing opportunities arising from national quotas provide real benefits to the fishing communities of the flag member state.