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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy to support an extension of the commercial hook and line fishing moratorium into April, May and June 2017 in areas where there is evidence of spawning among bass stocks.
Union vessels using hook and line methods have a directed fishing provision after February and March if they have a verified track record of catches, but it should be noted that bass catches by UK vessels using that method have tended to peak during the summer months from July to September. The Government does not intend to extend the moratorium period that has been agreed at EU level. However, my Department will of course continue to consider any new scientific advice on the state of the bass stock and the need for appropriate conservation measures.