HC Deb 23 June 1971 vol 819 cc1404-6
10. Mr. W. H. K. Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the areas off the Scottish coast which lie between the six and 12-mile fishing limits which are fished by current members of the European Economic Community and by other countries.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

A map is available in the Library showing in detail the areas in which fishing vessels of individual countries have fishing rights between the six-mile and 12-mile limits.

Mr. Baker

Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that no dilution will take place in the six- to 12-mile band by countries other than those already designated; and will he say whether the designation orders already in force will obtain should Britain enter the Common Market?

Mr. Campbell

As my hon. Friend will see, if he is not already familiar with the map, in terms of the European Fisheries Convention, 1964, habitual fishing rights established in the 10 years prior to December, 1962 were granted to the fishing vessels of contracting parties. In addition, certain fishing rights were granted to Norwegian vessels off the Scottish coast. As these fishing rights are separate for individual countries, they are, of course, discriminatory and, therefore, this is a subject which has been under discussion in the negotiations in which my right hon. and learned Friend has been engaged in Luxembourg.

Mr. Maclellan

Will the Secretary of State say what is the value, expressed as a proportion of the total catch, of the landings in Scotland from the six- to 12-mile area?

Mr. Campbell

No firm figures are available, as no one can be certain on a national scale exactly where fish landed have been caught. However, I can say that almost all the herring and shell fish landed in Scotland come from within the six-mile limit, together with between one-quarter and one-third of all white fish landings, including deep-sea catches.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

Is my right hon. Friend taking steps to make the map to which he referred definitive, so that we know exactly where we are in law? What attention are the Government giving to the need for a greatly increased supply of fishery protection vessels, in view of the negotiations with the Common Market?

Mr. Campbell

My hon. Friend already has a Question down on the second point, so I will wait until we reach it. On his first point, the map is widely distributed and known among fishermen and fisheries officers in Scotland, and I was glad, on my recent visit to the Orkneys and Shetlands, to find it in the appropriate offices. It is well known to the fishermen concerned but not to many others who are concerned about the interests of fishermen. There is no question of the 12-mile limit being abandoned. Whatever is negotiated, countries which are not members of the Common Market will still continue to be held outwith the 12-mile limit.