§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what study he has made of the latest Annual Report of the British Trawlers' Federation expressing alarm at the recent undue intensity of exploitation of the fishing stocks in the North Atlantic and the Barents Sea and at the diminution in the British fishing fleets, and calling on Her Majesty's Government to take steps to rectify these dangers; and if he will take steps to remove these dangers.
§ Mr. Hoy
I have read with interest the latest Annual Report of the British Trawlers' Federation. Although alarm was expressed about the intensity of exploitation in the Barents Sea, the Federation was glad to see Her Majesty's Government taking the initiative towards effective conservation measures. We are, of course, taking all steps open to us to secure the international agreement required for the effective conservation of fish stocks. While it is true that there has been some decline in the numbers of fishing vessels, I do not accept that there has been any decline in the catching capacity of the British Fleet.