§ 49. Mr. Grimond
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will extend the area in which industrial fishing has been banned.
§ Mr. Hugh D. Brown
There is no area in which industrial fishing is currently banned. Under the Norway Pout (Prohibition of Fishing) Order 1977 the fishing of Norway pout in an area of the North Sea was banned from 21st February to 31st March. The continuation of this ban after 1st August is to be the subject of a proposal to be submitted by the EEC Commission before that date. The purpose of the ban is to reduce the damaging effect on immature white fish stocks taken as by-catches in Norway pout fishing, and the area concerned is that where most protection can be given to these stocks. The case for extending the area and the period to which the prohibition applies will be kept under consideration in relation to the Commission's proposal.