HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 c19W
Mr. Waterson

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the Government propose to table treaty changes at the intergovernmental conference to regulate quota hopping; and if he will make a statement. [39014]

Mr. Baldry

A proposal to add a protocol to the treaty of the European Community to enable member states to take appropriate action to regulate quota hopping is being tabled at a working meeting of the inter governmental conference today. The protocol provides thatnothing in the Treaty establishing the European Community shall prevent any Member State from distributing the fishing availabilities allocated to it under the common fisheries policy to vessels flying the flag of, or registered in, that State in accordance with such requirements as the Member State considers appropriate to ensure that such vessels have a real economic link with the populations dependent on fisheries and related industries in that State including, for example, all or any of the following requirements: a requirement that a minimum proportion (determined by the Member State concerned) of the legal and beneficial ownership of such vessels should be held either by nature persons residing permanently int he territory of that State, or by companies or firms which have their principal place of business or central administration (or both) in the territory of that State, or by a combination of natural persons and companies or firms fulfilling the above criteria; a requirement that a minimum proportion (determined by the Member State concerned) of the membership of the crews of such vessels should reside permanently in the territory of that State;

a requirement that such vessels should depart from a port situated within the territory of the Member State concerned on a minimum proportion (determined by that State) of the fishing trips undertaken by such vessels; a requirement that a minimum proportion (determined by the Member States concerned) of the catches of all or any of the different fish stocks which may be made by such vessels should be landed within the territory of that State.

Copies of the full text of the proposed protocol and of the covering memorandum to the IGC are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses for information.