HC Deb 17 September 2004 vol 424 c1944W
Mr. Whittingdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will make a statement on the status of Council Regulation (EC) No 1954/2003 Western Waters; [187424]

(2) what access will be available to Spanish boats to fish for crab stocks in the Western Waters; [187427]

(3) what measures she is taking to improve monitoring of UK fisheries to prevent incursion from foreign fishing boats in the Western Waters. [187428]

Mr. Bradshaw

Council Regulation (EC) No 1954/2003 establishes an effort management regime for EU vessels over 15 metres overall length fishing for demersal species, scallops and edible and spider crabs in ICES Divisions V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and certain parts of the waters controlled by the Fisheries Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) waters and for vessels over 10 metres overall length fishing for these species in the biologically sensitive area in that part of Area VII off the south and west coast of Ireland. The Regulation prohibits directed fishing for these species in Western Waters without a permit and provides for the setting of annual fishing effort allocations for each member state for each area and fishery described above. Those effort allocations are contained in Annex I of Council Regulation 1415/2004. This provides effort allocations for Spain for crabs in ICES Areas VIM, IX and CECAF but not in ICES Areas V, VI, VII or X. Member states are responsible for ensuring that the total effort of vessels flying their flag does not exceed the limits set down in Council Regulation 1415/2004. British Sea Fishery Officers, when boarding foreign fishing vessels in Western Waters, will carry out checks to ensure that the vessels have the necessary permits and are properly recording in their logbooks the time spent in each Western Waters area.