Select Committee on Agriculture Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr David Muirhead, Vice Chairman, Association of Sea Fisheries Committees (T6)

  Thank you for your letter dated 5 April on the matter of the Report. I attended a meeting of the Technical Panel of the Association of Sea Fisheries Committees earlier this week at which the Report and the Government's subsequent actions were discussed.

  As a result the Association's Chief Executive, Russell Bradley, has produced a Memorandum which I have now seen and he will be sending to you. I can confirm that the Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee endorses everything which is stated in the Memorandum and Mr Bradley's accompanying letter.

  The Agriculture Committee also made a recommendation relating to low impact fisheries (paragraph 97). Although it may prove impossible to withdraw certain such fisheries from the quota system it is felt that more encouragement should be given to attract fishermen to use these sustainable methods. For example fishermen using longlines, a very low impact method, could have been allowed to continue fishing for cod in the North Sea during the recent closure of certain areas: small quantities of high quality larger fish would have been caught with no overall damage to the stocks.

  In this era of highly technical and efficient fishing methods every effort should be made to promote and encourage environmentally friendly and sustainable methods.

  I hope that this letter is of some assistance to you.

27 April 2001

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