21 NOV 2018

Fisheries Bill

Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons)

Further to the Secretary of State's earlier point about expanding fishing opportunities, I am happy to report that Brixham in my constituency has had another record year and in 2017 landed over £40 million-worth of fish, but it is now limited because it is at full stretch. Brixham is anxiously waiting to hear what my right hon. Friend will do to guarantee that it can have access to funds such as the European maritime and fisheries funds to allow it to expand. Brixham is really keen to get on with it.

Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

My hon. Friend makes a good point. I congratulate her on championing her constituency so successfully, and I thank the fishermen of Brixham for their work. In the EU we have the EMFF, which provides support for individual fishing communities, and this Bill makes provision for a replacement so that grants and loans can be provided for just such investment.


Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons)

Further to the point about zonal attachment, does my hon. Friend agree with Brixham fishermen that sprats would be an ideal kind of species to look at, because 90% of them are caught within the 12-mile limit but we have only 52% of the total allowable catch? Does he agree that that would be a much more sensible way to proceed?

Neil Parish Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. By moving to a different system, we perhaps remove ourselves from some of the existing quota restrictions. Because those are historical, and because we did not necessarily get a good deal—far from it—when we went into the common fisheries policy, we have the opportunity to do this.

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