HC Deb 03 February 1984 vol 53 cc385-6W
Sir Walter Clegg

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now specify the pressure stocks referred to in his answer to the hon. Member for Torridge and Devon, West (Sir P. Mills) on 20 December, Official Report, c. 47–48, on support for the fishing industry and give details of the licensing arrangements which will apply.

Mr. Jopling

My right hon. Friends and I have designated as pressure stocks all herring, mackerel, saithe and angler fish stocks for which the United Kingdom has a quota; all such cod and haddock stocks, except those in ICES Areas VII and VIII; whiting in ICES Areas IIa, IV, Vb and VI; hake in ICES Areas IIa and IV; plaice in ICES Areas Vb, VI, VIId, e, f and g; and sole in ICES Areas d, e, f and g.

Any British-registered fishing vessel of a registered length of 10m or more fishing for or landing from one of the above stocks must have an appropriate licence. Vessels currently fishing under licences already issued in respect of these stocks may continue to do so, subject to any quota management arrangements which may apply. As from midnight tonight a vessel not in possession of a licence for any pressure stock will be issued with such a licence or licences only where it had, before today, a record of fishing for one or more of these stocks.

Licences may be transferred either with the licensed vessel or from one vessel to another by the person holding the licence or licences. Licences will not however be transferable from a vessel which is decommissioned with grant under the arrangements announced on 20 December. Nor may licences for a vessel of a registered length less than 40ft be transferred to a vessel of a registered length greater than 40ft.

Licences will exceptionally be granted in respect of vessels which are under construction or for which an applicant has, by midnight tonight, entered into an enforceable contract to purchase vessels (whether new or secondhand).

The existing restrictions relating to the licensing of purse-seiners and freezer trawlers will continue.

These arrangements will apply until 31 December 1986. There will be consultation with the industry organisations during 1986 about the arrangements to apply from January 1987.