HC Deb 18 February 1970 vol 796 cc380-1
1. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what further action he has taken in the last month to protect the Atlantic salmon.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Norman Buchan)

I asume that my hon. Friend refers to the threat posed by the development of high seas fisheries for salmon.

My Department has engaged in consultations with some of the countries which share our views on this matter to determine what further action can best be taken to secure a satisfactory solution to it.

Mr. Dalyell

Is there any indication of a change of attitude by the Government of Denmark?

Mr. Buchan

The Danish Government are continuing to provide valuable assistance in the scientific investigation into the effects of high seas fisheries, and when they objected to the Commission's recommendations they indicated their willingness to consider less far-reaching measures, other than a complete ban.

Mr. Stodart

Has the hon. Gentleman any information about the latest recorded Greenland catch of salmon? Has it gone up sensationally? Does the hon. Gentleman accept the view of the Director of the Atlantic Salmon Research Trust that in three years salmon will have reached the point of no return on the way to extinction? What precise action is the hon. Gentleman contemplating?

Mr. Buchan

That is a three-point question. First, I have no figures additional to those which have been published. Second, I am aware of the statement, but I do not think that the scientific evidence so far available suggests that the Atlantic salmon, as a species, is in danger of extinction. The third matter is one for negotiation between friends. The disagreement between us and the Danish Government is a disagreement between friends, and has to be settled by international discussion, which is what we are doing.

Mr. Speaker

Order. There are many Questions on the Order Paper.

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