HL Deb 12 February 1991 vol 526 cc3-4WA
Lord Moran

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have received the reports of 11th and 16th January from the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation about renewed fishing for salmon in international waters, the catches being reportedly landed at Kohlberg in Poland, whether they have any information to confirm these reports; whether they share NASCO's view that the development of such a fishery can seriously undermine conservation efforts; and if so what action they propose to take.

Baroness Trumpington

We are fully aware and concerned about both these reports from the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) which suggest (but do not confirm) fishing for salmon by certain vessels in international waters.

We deplore those activities as contrary to the objectives of the NASCO convention and that organisation's efforts to conserve and rationally manage stocks. When these events first came to light last year, we discussed the issue with the Commission of the European Communities (which represents the interests of all Member States within NASCO); we communicated all available information on sightings; and we took an active part in discussions at the annual meeting of NASCO held in Helsinki last June. Her Majesty's Government fully support the resolution passed by NASCO as a result of these discussions and the action it called for in making formal representations to the states of registration of those vessels believed to be involved. Action was duly taken by the Commission on behalf of the European Community in notes to the Governments of Poland and Panama drawing attention to the potential impact of unregulated high seas fishing on the conservation of North Atlantic stocks. These were received sympathetically. UK enforcement agencies have been briefed and will take such action as is appropriate.