Fishing Licences

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd April 2004.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West 11:30 am, 22nd April 2004

How many registered fishing licences have been revoked since 2001; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

None. If for any reason a licence becomes invalid, the holder of the licence will usually retain an entitlement to apply for a further licence, which must be made within three years of the entitlement first arising.

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

I believe that the Minister recognises how important the fishing and cockling industry is to my constituents in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. I think that he also realises that local families feel under increasing pressure in terms of the catch that they can take as a result of changes from Europe. Will he agree to meet a small delegation of those concerned to discuss changes in the licensing and registration of vessels?

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

Yes, I would be happy to receive a delegation. He will be aware that the cockling and shellfish industry in this country is doing extremely well at the moment. Recent figures show that incomes have doubled. As he knows, problems with North sea cod stocks may have affected some of his local fishermen, but I shall be happy to receive a delegation if he wants to bring one.