Fisheries Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:07 pm on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:07 pm, 21st November 2018

Yes, my hon. Friend makes an excellent point. I can confirm that we will absolutely look at this matter in Committee.

We are asking for more detail about discard charges as well as the environmental and sustainability objectives around maximum sustainable yield fisheries management. Labour would go further on environmental protections than the provisions outlined in the Bill, and would categorically oppose any move away from a science-led, ecosystems-based approach. As my hon. Friend Owen Smith mentioned, there is only a vague reference to MSY in the Bill, and no clear roadmap as to when and how this can be achieved. We would like to know whether Ministers are still committed to it as we leave the EU. We believe that stocks should at least meet this standard by 2020 and will seek to bring that into the Bill if the Government do not.

Will the Secretary of State respond to the concerns of environmental groups such as Sustain that are worried that the Bill’s objective to gradually eliminate discards is far weaker and slower than the EU’s commitment to end discarding completely within a set deadline? This is an important point.