§ Mr. McKelvey
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, during the recent EEC discussions on 115W the fishing industry, the question was raised of the 5,000 stone of wholesome fish that had to be dumped into the sea by boats from Girvan, Ayshire; and whether appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that such wasteful action will not be repeated.
§ Mr. Younger
This specific issue has not been discussed in the Community. Under the EC market support system, any fish which fails to realise the relevant minimum price is taken off the market and, in order to safeguard the market must not then be sold for human consumption. The quantity of fish withdrawn, however, is small and most is sold for reduction to fishmeal, which benefits agriculture output, or for pet food.
Less than one per cent. of fish landed is dumped, usually only when there are particular local circumstances which make it uneconomic to send the withdrawn fish to the nearest non-human consumption outlet. It would not be appropriate to seek to prevent fishermen from dumping in these very rare cases. I understand that the fish in this particular instance were small and should probably never have been caught in the first place.