Managing shared stocks

Part of Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 pm on 17 December 2018.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water) 9:45, 17 December 2018

The Bill makes no firm commitment on how a shared stock should be sustainably managed, which was one reason why we spoke about shared stocks in the objectives right at the start of our consideration of the Bill. That is extremely concerning, as setting clear sustainability criteria in relation to negotiations with other countries would help to avoid, for example, another mackerel wars scenario.

However, I have some questions about subsection 6 of the new clause, in particular about its unintended consequences for the total allowable catch. It suggests that if, for any reason, a country reduced its allowable catch on sustainability grounds, the other countries in that shared stock would ramp up to get to the total allowable catch, which could have implications for sustainability. It would be interesting to know from the right hon. Gentleman how that might work and how he might allay any concerns on that point.