§ Dr. Phipps
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further measures he proposes to take to conserve fish stocks in United Kingdom waters.
§ Mr. John Silkin
The Government have sought the Commission's approval, in accordance with agreed procedures, to the following measures which are necessary to conserve fish stocks within United Kingdom fishery limits:
- (a) a ban on all direct fishing for herring within United Kingdom fishery limits off the West of Scotland—ICES
14 area VIa—with the exception of the Clyde stock, to come into effect on 6th July 1978;
- (b) a reduction in the maximum permitted by-catch of protected species in small-mesh fisheries from 20 per cent. to 10 per cent. by weight, with the exception of nephrops fisheries, to come into effect within United Kingdom fishery limits on 11th July 1978;
- (c) an extension for the period from 1st October to 31st March of the Eastern boundary of the current prohibited area for Norway pout fishing from the Greenwich meridian to 2 degrees East in waters under United Kingdom sovereignty or jurisdiction; and
- (d) the prohibition in all waters within United Kingdom fishery limits of the use of nets of less than 70-mm mesh for fishing for nephrops from 1st November 1978.
The Commission's approval may be sought for further measures considered by Her Majesty's Government to be necessary for the conservation of fish stocks in waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. In this context the Government are considering the need to strengthen existing provisions on the enforcement of the minimum mesh size regulations including carriage of nets of more than one mesh size and the need to regulate herring fishing in the Irish Sea.