HC Deb 27 April 1989 vol 151 cc669-70W
32. Mr. Harris

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the latest position with regard to cod fishing in the channel.

Mr. Donald Thompson

In line with the wishes of the area VII industry advisory committee, we have adopted a management strategy for this year's Channel cod fishery designed to spread the annual quota availability as evenly as possible over the year, and to avoid, as possible, a repetition of last year's uninterrupted closure of six months. I have accordingly closed the fishery twice this year for time-limited periods, currently until 1 July. Latest estimates indicate that we took about half of our annual quota by Easter. I am fully aware of the difficulties facing cod fishermen, and I am pursing all possible means of adjusting the level of the quota.

35. Mr. John Townend

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on what date the industry was informed of individual cod quotas for the current year.

Mr. Donald Thompson

Following agreement at the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 9–11 December 1989, quotas for the United Kingdom's cod fisheries were announced to the industry on 13 December 1988.

As regards the North sea and west of Scotland fisheries, the allocation of United Kingdom quotas among the various groups in the fisheries has this year given rise to new and important issues which have needed further consideration within Fisheries Departments. We are looking to conclude discussions as a matter of urgency and will be contacting the industry as soon as possible thereafter.