Select Committee on Agriculture Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Chief Executive, Wyre Borough Council (T15)

  I am writing in reply to your letter dated 5 April 2001 and apologise for the delay in replying which was due to my awaiting a response from the Fleetwood Fish Forum, following its recent meeting.

  The views I detail below have been expressed to the Minister, Mr Elliot Morley MP, on several occasions by representatives of the Fleetwood Fish Forum.


  The Forum agrees with the cod recovery programmes which are now in force in the Irish Sea, West of Scotland and the North Sea, but feels that it should be extended to include all species which are being fished outside of safe biological limits. The Forum also feels that the beam trawlers in the Irish Sea should be included in the cod recovery programmes, as they are in the North Sea. Evidence has proved that these vessels have a significant catch of cod and juvenile fish.

  The Forum has also raised the issue of excessive horsepower of some vessels in our breeding and nursery grounds. No recovery programme will benefit fish stocks unless there is a gradual levelling down period of horsepower to acceptable levels, as agreed by CEFAS scientists.


  Considering that the majority of the English fleet consists mainly of older vessels, the Forum finds it increasingly critical for the future of the fishing industry to introduce a "scrap and build" policy and so encourage our fishermen to invest.


  The satellite monitoring of fishing vessels should be extended to include vessels down to 16 metres, as these vessels represent a major contribution to fishing effort. Designated ports should be enforced to cover all fish which is being transhipped outside of the member state as it is becoming increasingly evident that this practice needs to be more closely monitored to prevent abuse.

  I hope these comments will provide useful for the Committee's session next week and I look forward to receiving feedback in due course.

1 May 2001

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