Forty-three fishing vessels are currently being built with assistance from public funds. There are also, I understand, two being built speculatively and four for export.
Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the present state of the fishing industry does not give confidence for the continued placing of orders for new fishing vessels, and will he take urgent steps to formulate a really effective fishing policy in the light of present circumstances?
Yes, I would agree. I am concerned about the level of work in the boatbuilding industry, which has obviously reflected the uncertainty and, indeed, the difficult fishing years of 1974 and 1975. However, I think that the current scene on the catching side is improving and will ultimately lead to improvement on the building side as well.