Orders of the Day — Fisheries

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:46 pm on 23rd October 1995.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry Minister of State (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) 8:46 pm, 23rd October 1995

The hon. Gentleman has asked a number of rhetorical questions which will take me a little time to answer. Actually, he is confused on a number of issues. I am sorry that if he had so many questions to which he genuinely wanted an answer, he did not seek to see me beforehand because I could have put him right on some things.

I hope that we shall not waste time in fisheries debates arguing about matters that are not correct. Of course the Spanish will have responsibility for ensuring that there are no more than 40 Spanish vessels within the Irish box at any one time. It is, however, of course a matter for us to supervise Spanish vessels generally in our waters. Last year, we inspected more than 5,000 vessels at sea; almost half were foreign. We made more than 45,000 sightings. The hon. Gentleman and the House can rest assured that we shall continue to monitor and supervise all vessels within UK waters. There is no question of our abandoning our responsibility for that. If the hon. Gentleman has any concerns about that, I shall be happy to put him straight.