HC Deb 10 May 2004 vol 421 c23W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress she has made in setting up regional fisheries advisory councils. [171136]

Mr. Bradshaw

A Council Decision to establish Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) is likely to be adopted later this month. This will provide basic principles and guidelines for setting up RACs, and should enable interested parties to take forward their proposals quickly. RACs are intended to be stakeholder bodies, not Government bodies, but we are working actively with interested organisations to help set up those RACs in which the UK has an interest.

RACs will be international organisations, developed and run by their members. Interested parties in the UK have been at the forefront of action, and with their partners in Europe they have made excellent progress towards developing proposals for RACs in the North Sea and in North Western Community Waters.