§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their attitude to the use of drift nets in (a) the Mediterranean, (b) the North Sea, and (c) the Atlantic; whether they believe their use should be uncontrolled, controlled, or banned; and what, in each case, are the grounds for their opinion.
§ Baroness Trumpington
The UK fully supports United Nations General Assembly Resolution 44/225, which provides for moratoria on all large-scale indiscriminate drift net fisheries by 1992 unless or until sound, scientifically based conservation and management methods can be implemented. Clearly the very large-scale drift netting which has developed in certain parts of the world is unacceptable. The exact extent to which drift netting should be controlled in a given region depends on the nature of such fishing practices and their impact on the living marine resources of the region. Appropriately used, drift nets can be a selective, as well as effective, form of fishing. We are currently considering a proposal just issued by the EC Commission to ban the use of drift nets above 2.5 km aggregate length by Community vessels, wherever they may be. Drift nets used by our fishermen are traditionally well below this length.