New Clause 8 - Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities

Part of Fisheries Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative, Moray 8:00 pm, 13th October 2020

I was not in the Chamber when the Minister made her opening remarks. I think she may have thought that it was a probing amendment, but I am sure that she listened to the points made. The right hon. Gentleman has now suggested that he will at least press either new clause 11 or 12 to a vote, and I am sure that she will respond to his points. I also listened closely to the heartfelt speech by my hon. Friend Mrs Murray on not only her own experience of a tragic family bereavement but the representations that she has heard from fishing communities in her long career advocating on their behalf. I look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say, but I accept the constructive way in which the right hon. Gentleman has put his case.

Since the right hon. Gentleman has intervened, I can now mention Shetland. An organisation in Shetland has today published the opportunities for the United Kingdom to race up the global rankings in terms of what we can do as a country regarding our share of catch from UK waters. At the moment, about 70% of the fish caught and landed in our waters is caught by foreign vessels. If we compare that with Norway, 84% of the fish and shellfish caught in its waters are caught by Norwegian vessels. I think it is 95% in Iceland.

That is the opportunity that is available to Scotland and the United Kingdom, and that is why many of us in this Chamber are excited about the opportunities for this country, our fishermen and our fishing communities. That is why I had to briefly take a moment to call out the, yet again, negativity and pointless point scoring from the Scottish National party on this issue.