HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c830W
Mr. Sanders

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will make a statement on the use of pelagic fishing gear for the fishing of demersal species; [172946]

(2) whether her Department classifies sea bass as a (a) pelagic or (b) demersal species. [172947]

Mr. Bradshaw

Pelagic fishing gear is normally used for shoaling mid-water swimming species such as mackerel, pilchards and sprats. Other species of fish may also be taken as a bycatch when pelagic gear is used and these may include demersal species.

Sea bass can be taken in both pelagic (that is, fished in mid-water) and demersal (fished in contact with the seabed) gears and so could be classed as either pelagic or demersal since its behaviour at different times of the year leads it to swim in mid-water or near the bottom.