§ Lord Melchett
asked Her Majesty's Government;
Whether they consider the practice of catching and then dumping fish at sea, such as the 260 boxes of good quality haddock dumped at Stornoway in February this year, contributes to the sensible management of fish stocks in United Kingdom waters.
§ The Minister of State, Scottish Office (The Earl of Mansfield)
The responsibility for aligning market supply and demand rests with fish producer organisations established under EC law. 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 avoid disruption of the market, must not subsequently be sold for human consumption. The proportion of fish offered for sale and withdrawn is small and most is sold for reduction to fishmeal, which benefits agricultural output, or for pet food. Less than 1 per cent. of fish landed is returned to the sea, and then only where there are particular local circumstances. At the time of the incident at Stornoway, the local fishmeal plant was closed for repair and maintenance.