HL Deb 05 March 1997 vol 578 c133WA
Lord Moran

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether it is correct that, at the December EU Fisheries Council, the European Commission proposed cuts in Total Allowable Catches of:

  1. (a) 48 per cent. for North Sea sole,
  2. (b) 26 per cent. for Irish Sea plaice, and
  3. (c) 25 per cent. for West of Scotland haddock;
and that these cuts were reduced by the Council to 20 per cent., 12 per cent. and 10 per cent. respectively; and if so, whether this is consistent with the statement by Mr. Baldry in the House of Commons on 14 January that the agreement was "consistent with the scientific advice and the conservation of stocks for the future". (HC Deb., col. WA 194).

Lord Lucas

The percentage cuts in Total Allowable Catches (TACs) initially proposed by the Commission, and those finally agreed at the December Fisheries Council, are as follows:

Commission Council
proposal decision
North Sea sole 48 22
Irish Sea plaice 27 14
West of Scotland haddock 25 13

The substantial cuts in TACs agreed by the Council are consistent with the scientific advice and the conservation of stocks for the future. The Commission had proposed deeper cuts in the TACs for North Sea sole and Irish Sea plaice than were warranted by the scientific advice, while the reduced cut agreed by the Council for West of Scotland haddock took account of the very imprecise scientific assessments for this stock.