Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Amendment 52

Part of Fisheries Bill [HL] - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 24th June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated 6:15 pm, 24th June 2020

My Lords, I support the aims of this new clause in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Teverson. For me, it is about marine conservation science around data collection. I have a number of questions, some for the Minister and some for the noble Lord.

I have been carrying out some research into the implications of this clause and I fully understand why we want data collection. As the noble Lord, Lord Randall, said, it can assist in climate change, informing us about the migratory movements of fish species and the volume of particular species in certain waters, and whether new species have come into certain waters as a result of the impact of climate change. All that information is very beneficial in determining fishing policy. If the new clause were approved, it would make a vital contribution to an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management through the generation of information on known targets and protected species captured by fishing gears. Such information would provide details about the level of discards and invaluable information about the nature and status of commercial stocks, and obviously it would bring about compliance with the landing obligation.

I am aware that there is some concern in the fishing industry about the impact of this clause if it were accepted. Can the Minister, who has been very gracious with his time the last few days, say what discussions have taken place with the devolved Administrations, since fisheries are a devolved matter, about remote monitoring? I know that these devices would be placed in the working areas of the boats and not in the private areas, because that was a concern for the fishing industry as well.

I would also be most grateful if the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, could say who will police the remote monitoring and who will pay for it. I am mindful that fisheries management works in partnership with the industry; the various devolved Administrations and the Government have to work with the fish producer organisations, the skippers, the fishers and the processors, as a consequence of all of that.

Those are my questions, and if the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, presses his amendment to a Division, I will support it.