Amendment 93

Part of Fisheries Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 6:30 pm, 9th March 2020

I thank the Minister for his response and all noble Lords who have contributed to this short debate. I say to the noble Baroness, Lady Worthington, that my granddaughter is also addicted to “Octonauts”; I quite like it as well.

I have heard what the Minister said and the difficulties around imposing MSY or some other very strong sustainability criteria. This is an issue that noble Lords across the whole House are extremely concerned about. Sustainable stocks are absolutely vital to the fishing industry. I understand the argument will be made that fishermen will want the fish to be there so that they can catch them, but sometimes that leads to overfishing of some stocks. I am grateful for the reassurance that the joint fisheries statements are legally binding documents, but we do not have them at the moment and it is possible that some of these statements will take a little while to come in. In the meantime, we need to be assured that sustainable fishing will take place. I completely agree that sustainable fishing leads to vibrant communities, but we need to maintain sustainable fish stocks across the board.

Given the number of times we have debated this, I feel certain that we will return to this in some form or other on Report, but in the meantime I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 93 withdrawn.