MP congratulates Government on standing up for British fisheries
Neil Parish congratulates the Government on repelling the threat to the cod recovery plan but argues that the plan should have been welcomed and endorsed by the commission rather than needing to be defended.
Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): I congratulate the Minister on standing up for British fisheries, and compliment him on the deal he got for cod in the western approaches. On the cod recovery plan, he should not have to defend our plan when we are stopping discards. Should we not get the Commission to endorse more of our plans, rather than having to defend them?
Richard Benyon: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. There has been some really good work in this country on reducing the number of discards, which was acknowledged by the Commission, so it was rather perverse that there was the possibility of measures being introduced that could have brought an end to precisely that good work. In his area, for example, Project 50% saw a more than 50% reduction in the number of discards in the beam trawler fleet. That would not have been possible under the proposed reduction in days that we were facing but luckily managed to reverse.