HC Deb 15 October 1991 vol 196 cc147-8W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, further to his answer to the hon. Member for South Shields on 23 July, if he will publish the observations of his Ministry's observer on the Cornish fishing expedition including the numbers of non-target species caught.

Mr. Gummer

The observers' reports are solely for internal use within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. However, the contents may be summarised as follows.

Albacore tuna formed about 95 per cent. of the landed catch, with other species caught being Rays bream, wreck fish, a few sword fish, and the odd squid, all of which have commercial value. Some blue sharks were returned to the sea and some were landed and sold. One sunfish was caught and released alive. Five dolphins were also recorded caught, and accounted for less than 0.1 per cent. of the total catch by number. No birds were netted. On some days no cetaceans were sighted but one day around 120 dolphins and 50–60 pilot whales were seen although none were caught.