HC Deb 02 July 1998 vol 315 c515
11. Mr. Martyn Jones (Clwyd, South)

What is the UK Government's present policy regarding the use of drift nets. [47167]

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Elliot Morley)

The Government have promoted an EC agreement on ending the use of high seas drift nets in order to protect dolphins and other non-target species.

Mr. Jones

My hon. Friend will be aware of the problem of drift netting for migrating salmon off the coast of Ireland, which is devastating the salmon population in Welsh rivers. That is affecting tourism in Wales and, in the long term, it will affect the drift netting of salmon off the coast of Ireland. Will he do everything in his power, at the Council of Ministers and elsewhere, to make sure that that practice is limited to a sustainable level?

Mr. Morley

My hon. Friend makes a serious point. Atlantic salmon stocks have declined dramatically. Irish salmon netting is beyond our national control, but I can assure my hon. Friend that, in our representations to Ireland, we shall draw attention to our concern about the impact of netting on salmon stocks.