§ Mr. Hal Miller
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to propose extension of Great Britain's fishing limits to 200 miles at the next session of the Law of the Sea Conference; and what negotiations have been held with other countries currently fishing inside these limits around British shores.
§ Mr. Ennals
As I said in a written reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Wigley) on 19th December, the Government have supported, at the Law of the Sea Conference, proposals for a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, as part of a generally acceptable Convention. Within this zone the coastal State would have sovereign rights concerning fisheries. The Government's support for this is subject to an acceptable régime within the zone and preservation of other high seas freedoms, in particular of navigation, overflight and communication within the zone. The Government are now engaged in discussions in Brussels with our Community partners about the modification of the common fisheries policy, which will be required on the introduction of 200-mile fishing limits.