HC Deb 09 January 2001 vol 360 cc524-5W
Mr. Andrew George

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent assessment he has made of the impact of industrial fishing on(a) fish stocks which feed from sand eels and pelagic stock targeted by those engaged in industrial fishing and (b) the UK fishing industry. [144272]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 8 January 2001]: Sand eel stocks fluctuate considerably due to natural causes. ICES advised in October 2000 that the North Sea sand eel stock is currently within safe biological limits, and that it can sustain the present sand eel fishery. MAFF is currently funding a three-year scientific investigation by CEFAS that will include an assessment of whether the sand eel fishery affects fish stocks that feed on sand eels. Results will not be available until 2002.

Juvenile herring are caught in the sprat fishery in the North Sea. This is taken into account in the North Sea herring assessment, and in the management options for herring recommended by ICES. In the western Channel, mackerel are taken as a by-catch in the horse mackerel fishery. (Horse mackerel is sold for the table on the Continent). The ICES assessment for the Western mackerel stock takes into account the mackerel catches declared by countries participating in the horse mackerel fishery.

The industrial by-catch in the principal demersal whitefish fisheries in the North Sea is evaluated internationally by ICES. In 1999, total landings from the Danish and Norwegian small meshed fisheries were recorded as 1.1 million tonnes, of which 11,532 tonnes were demersal whitefish, comprising 4,000 tonnes of haddock, 5,000 tonnes of whiting, 2,000 tonnes of saithe, and 532 tonnes of cod. This was taken into account when calculating haddock and whiting stock sizes and TACs for 2001.

In bilateral discussions with Denmark at the December 2000 Fisheries Council we agreed to have joint discussions in early 2001 on the North Sea sand eel fishery. These will cover possible reactions in the size of the TAC and adjustments to the by-catch arrangements which would reduce the allowance for by-catches of fish for human consumption.

Mr. Moss

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will list the species of fish and their related areas of catchment that have been the subject of quota banking and borrowing for the year 2001; [144435]

(2) what quantity of the United Kingdom fish quota, by species, has been banked by the producer organisations; and what quantity of the United Kingdom fish quota, by species, has been managed by his Department on behalf of the non-sector and under 10m sector for 2001; [144434]

(3) what quantities of each fish species have been banked and approved by the European Commission for each EU member state for 2001. [144436]

Mr. Morley

The fish stocks for which up to 10 per cent. of a member state's quota allocation may be banked or borrowed vary from year to year.

Amount carried forward on behalf of:1
Stock Total amount carried forward to 20011 Producer organisations Non sector Under 10 metre fleet
VIIa sole 24 20.7 0.5 2.8
VIId sole 79 43.8 4.2 31
VIIfg sole 32.5 29.5 0.3 2.7
VIIa plaice 88.5 81.1 3 4.4
VII megrim 257 251 1 5
VII anglerfish 414 383 9 22
North Sea sole 94.5 94.5
Western horse mackerel 2,285 2,259 26
North Sea blue whiting 107 64 43
Western blue whiting 2,350 2,350
1 Tonnes

These amounts will be added to the quota allocations to be made to producer organisations, the non sector and the under 10 metre fleet which have still to be calculated but which are due to be notified to the groups concerned before the end of March.

Details of the amount of quota to be carried over to 2001 by other member states have yet to be released by the Commission and are unlikely to be approved before the spring. We are not aware that any member state has borrowed quota from 2001.

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