HC Deb 20 October 1992 vol 212 cc251-2W
Mr. Luff

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the Fisheries Council held in Luxembourg on 19 October; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Curry

I chaired this meeting of the Council. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, represented the United Kingdom.

The Council agreed, subject to the opinion of the European Parliament, to a regulation revising the regime for the common organisation of the market in fishery products. A satisfactory balance was achieved between constraining Community expenditure on market suport and the need to protect fishermen from excessive price fluctuations.

The Council further agreed a regulation to prohibit EC vessels anywhere from undertaking fisheries involving encirclements with purse seine nets on marine mammals when aiming to catch tuna and other species of fish.

The Council also discussed the Commission's proposals for future multi-annual guidance programmes, agreeing the need to set realistic targets for the reduction in member states' fishing and to allow member states flexibility in how they achieve them.

The Council had its first discussion on the important draft regulations intended to replace the basic common fisheries policy regulation and control regulation. These regulations have been proposed by the Commission following Council discussion of the mid-term review of the CFP. The Council also agreed that a further proposal for a Community licensing system for waters in the North-West Atlantic Fisheries Convention Organisation area should be considered in taking account of discussion on the two major proposals.

The United Kingdom pressed for Community action on the rules for the minimum landings size for lobsters.