Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when a decision was made to exempt the one net rule for nephrops trawlers; in which fishing areas this exemption will apply; whether the Northern Ireland fleet fish for nephrops in these areas; what consultation was undertaken with the Northern Ireland fishing industry prior to the decision; and if he will make a statement about the implications of this decision for the Northern Ireland fishing industry.
§ Mr. Hanley
The decision to exempt the one rule for nephrops trawlers was made on 5 March; it applies in areas IV, North sea, and VI, west Scotland, north of latitude 56°N. Any fishing by Northern Ireland vessels for nephrops in these areas is minimal and there was no consultation with the Northern Ireland industry prior to the decision, which has little or no direct impact on the Northern Ireland fishing industry.