Amendment 94

Part of Fisheries Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 7:15 pm, 9th March 2020

It is understood.

The issue of public property would, we believe, be covered by the socio-economic and other criteria which the Secretary of State is already required to consider. I have just asked for a reply to the question on how the future quota will be dispersed.

Additionally, while I recognise that quota allocation in England is complex, we need to proceed carefully given that, as we have discussed, fisheries management has been plagued by unintended consequences. For example, quota for the Crown dependencies is allocated from the England quota pot. Therefore, the statement about the English fishery as public property held on trust for the people of England could restrict the Crown dependencies’ rights. I am sure that the noble Baroness would not intend to do this.

In terms of the bodies involved in allocating quota, Amendment 105 considers inshore fisheries and conservation authorities as English fisheries administrations for allocations. However, inshore fisheries and conservation authorities do not have a role in quota allocation, so we do not support moves to make them so, for reasons we have articulated when we discussed that amendment. So this may inadvertently cause confusion. Further, Amendment 104 would remove the link to a history of compliance. This is a useful and positive tool which could be used to support our strong commitment to sustainability. Removing it would weaken our ability to achieve these aims.

The proposed grant-making powers in the Bill will enable us to support projects that, among other things, protect the marine environment and develop commercial fishing. Financial assistance could therefore be given as part of a future funding scheme to help fishermen move to more selective and less environmentally damaging fishing techniques. We therefore believe that we should continue to rely on the fisheries objectives in the Bill, as well as existing and well-established mechanisms and criteria, which have proven effective and respect the devolution settlements.

Amendment 106, tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, addresses new entrants. We are aware of concerns—