HC Deb 09 March 1961 vol 636 cc674-5
33. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a detailed statement, based on his scientific inquiries and reports, as to the comparative potentialities for fish production and catch of the fishing grounds within and outside the limits recently imposed by Iceland and the Faroes, respectively.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. W. M. F. Vane)

I am afraid that such an assessment is not practicable because the potentialities of a particular stock of fish can in general only be assessed in relation to the whole area which it inhabits.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Minister realise that the losses inflicted on the British fishing industry by the recent disastrous agreement with our foreign competitors make it more necessary than ever that the potentialities of the fishing grounds which are still left to the British fisherman are developed on scientific lines? Will the Minister take steps to ensure that this is done?

Mr. Vane

The hon. and learned Member will know that the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, to which all the nations with these fishery interests belong, is undertaking scientific studies of the stocks of fish in all the areas to which his Question refers