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Fishing, North-East Coast

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th April 1957.

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Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth 12:00 am, 11th April 1957

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether he is aware that there is dissatisfaction among the seine net fishermen off the coast of Northumberland and Berwickshire about the lack of adequate patrol services operating for their general benefit; and if he will take steps to remedy the position;

(2) why foreign fishing vessels are allowed to use waters off the North-East Coast contrary to regulations; and why the regulations are not enforced.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Derick Heathcoat Amory):

I am aware of the situation off the North-East Coast. The Captain of the Royal Naval Fishery Protection Squadron and my officers consult closely together to secure the most effective deployment of the available fishery protection vessels in order to ensure the observance of the North Sea Convention of 1882 for the regulation and policing of the high seas fisheries.

Special attention will be paid to the North-East Coast, within the resources available, during the period when incidents are most likely to occur.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

Am I to understand from that Answer, for which I am very much obliged, that Britannia now rules the waves on the North-East Coast?

Mr. Amory:

I am sure that my hon. Friend can make that assumption; but I would also tell her in more particular terms that I hope that this year—that is to say, during the coming summer—we shall be able to arrange for more patrols in those waters.

Photo of Mr David Jones Mr David Jones , Hartlepools, The

Why has it taken the Department so long to arrange for these additional patrols? I drew the attention of the right hon. Gentleman's Department to this interference more than a year ago, and the Minister then said that they were not available. Why are they available now?

Mr. Amory:

As the hon. Gentleman knows, it is impossible to have these vessels on call everywhere, wherever an incident may occur; but I think that last season there was a rather excessive number, an unusual number, of incidents in that area, and we intend to try this year to make sure that we deploy a sufficient number of patrols in the area if these circumstances look like arising again.