Schedule 2 - Regulation of Foreigh Fishing Boats

Part of Fisheries Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 10th September 2020.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 11:30 am, 10th September 2020

These amendments are necessary to ensure that we comply with the provisions of the treaty entered into with Denmark in 1999. The treaty concerns maritime delimitation between the UK and the Faroe Islands. The 1999 agreement, or for the purposes of the Bill the Faroe Islands treaty, provides for a special area in the UK exclusive economic zone, exclusively in Scottish waters, over which both parties exercise jurisdiction for fisheries management purposes. A bespoke approach is required to manage that shared area in the right way.

The amendments provide the legal framework for who is able to regulate fishing in that special area from 1 January. They provide the Faroese authorities with the ability to license foreign vessels in that area, as well as providing the option for the appropriate UK licensing authority to license foreign vessels if that is required. Were the amendments not made, we would not be able to implement the Faroe Islands treaty, which might put us in breach of our international obligations. The amendments to schedule 2 exempt vessels licensed by the Faroe Islands fishing in a special area from some secondary legislation that is applicable in Scottish waters.

This is a technical area. We make the amendments in the knowledge that we have a very positive relationship with the Faroe Islands on fisheries management, and we remain committed to collectively improving the way the sea is managed and governed. Indeed, it is through our working on a new future fisheries agreement with the Faroe Islands throughout this year that we have been able to agree the approach to this issue.