HC Deb 27 March 1990 vol 170 cc134-5W
Mr. Shersby

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has concerning the threat to wildlife on South Georgia, especially penguins and seals, resulting from the depletion of stocks of krill and ice fish following intensive fishing by Soviet and east European fishing fleets; and if he will extend the present 12-mile limit to 200 miles.

Mr. Sainsbury

We are concerned that the present level of fishing activity round South Georgia is threatening the conservation of fish stocks. We are also concerned about the possible consequences of this for wildlife in the area, particularly the wandering albatross.

We are tackling these problems through the multilateral convention for the conservation of antarctic marine living resources (CCAMLR), in which we play a leading role.

The commissioner for South Georgia commissioned a research cruise in January 1989 and another in January this year, and we are in touch with the Soviet authorities at both diplomatic and scientific levels.

We have no plans at present to impose a 200-mile exclusive economic zone unilaterally round South Georgia.

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