Part 2 - Amendment of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985

Fisheries Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 15th September 2020.

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13 The Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (1985/171 (N.I. 2)) is amended in accordance with paragraphs 22 to 27.

14 In Article 10 (protection of certain wild animals), in paragraph (4A), for paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute—

“(a) a seal (pinniped), or”.

15 In Article 11 (exceptions to Article 10)—

(a) after paragraph (1) insert—

“(1A) Article 5(5) (as it applies to Article 10 by virtue of paragraph (1)) applies in relation to seals (pinnipedia) as if—

(a) in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) the words “otherwise than by his unlawful act” were omitted, and

(b) sub-paragraph (c) were omitted.”;

(b) after paragraph (3) insert—

(3A) Paragraph (3) applies in relation to seals (pinnipedia) as if “or to fisheries” were omitted.”

16 In Article 18 (power to grant licences), after paragraph (3) insert—

“(3ZA) But a licence may not be granted under paragraph (3) that permits the killing, injuring or taking of seals (pinnipedia) for the purpose of preventing damage to fisheries.”

17 In Schedule 5 (animals which are protected at all times), in the table, for the entries for “Seal, common” and “Seal, grey” substitute—



18 In Schedule 6 (animals which may not be killed or taken by certain methods), in the table, for the entries for “Seal, common” and “Seal, grey” substitute—



19 In Schedule 7 (animals which may not be sold alive or dead at any time), in the table, for the entries for “Seal, common” and “Seal, grey” substitute—


Pinniped”.”—(Victoria Prentis.)

This new Schedule makes amendments to the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. The amendments would generally prohibit the killing, injuring or taking of seals, and limit the circumstances in which that can be permitted.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Question proposed, That the Chair do report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Well, we have had kind words from the hon. Member for Barnsley East, and it has been a pleasure to debate this excellent Bill with her. It gives me enormous pleasure to move it to the next stage. It sets out how we will move forward to promote sustainable fishing as we become an independent coastal state at the end of this year.

To that end, I would like to thank you, Sir Charles, and the other Chairman. I would very much like to thank the Clerk, who has managed extremely well. That is very difficult without the normal Box arrangements and without any back-up for the Clerk. I appreciate everything that he has done for us. I thank those on the Opposition Front Bench. I thank particularly all the Committee members, who have not done other things that they wished to do, because they were so determined to give this Bill their full consideration. I thank the Whips, who are both here, and who have kept us in order.

I particularly thank my private office and the Fisheries Bill team for their great work on the Bill. The Bill passes to its next stage in top-notch form, and I look forward to its becoming law very shortly.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution)

May I add my thanks to you, Sir Charles, and to Mr McCabe for chairing these sittings? I also add my thanks to the Clerk of the Committee for keeping us all on track in what were sometimes very tricky situations. I am sure I am not alone in hating a double negative, and trying to vote accordingly, so I thank him.

The Minister and I did not agree on much, but she was courteous throughout, and there is no doubt that she is across her brief; I thank her for that. I thank all Members on both sides of the Committee for the way the debate was conducted: it was co-operative and constructive; no one can doubt that it was speedy; and we conducted the business successfully. I said in my opening contribution, which feels as if it was many moons ago, that it was like getting a band back together. I trust that, like Sinatra, this will be the last time we do it.

Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I echo the thanks that have been given to the Clerks and the Bill team. I thank all the officials the Minister has tucked away back at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the MMO; Seafish; and the other authorities that have contributed to the Bill. A number of themes have been picked up, not the least of which was safety, and I know that the Minister and colleagues will continue to drive that in a cross-party way. I thank the Minister and those on the Conservative Benches who contributed to the collegiate way in which the debate was conducted.

Fishing is important to our coastal communities, and on Report we will no doubt continue the debate on how we create jobs. I thank the Committee Chairs, and I also thank the Hansard recorder for keeping a good record of our debates and deliberations, which I am sure will be of great use as the Bill progresses.

Photo of Charles Walker Charles Walker Chair, Administration Committee, Chair, Administration Committee

I would like to thank you all for your patience, fortitude and forbearance, and I thank the Clerk. There has been some pretty ropey stuff going on from the Chair at times.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, accordingly to be reported.

Committee rose.

Written evidence reported to the House

FB06 Greener UK

FB07 North Atlantic Fishing Company

FB08 Professor Richard Barnes, Professor of International Law, Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln

FB09 Honor Frost Foundation (HFF) Steering Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH)

FB10 Cornish Fish Producers' Organisation (CFPO)

FB11 South Western Fish Producer Organisation Ltd

FB12 Greenpeace UK

FB13 The Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee (JNAPC)