Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|20 Feb 2018, 11:32 a.m.||Salmon: North Shields||Holly Lynch|
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of a cessation of drift net salmon fishing in 2018 on heritage fishing in North Shields.
Answer (Dr Thérèse Coffey)
The North East coast net fishery, including drift nets at North Shields, operates as a coastal mixed stock fishery, catching salmon from a large number of different populations from rivers in both Scotland and England on the eastern coast of Britain.
The UK Government has international obligations as a member of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) to close coastal mixed stock fisheries as it is not possible to manage them in such a way as to effectively protect contributing salmon stocks. Closing fisheries is not an action that is taken without careful consideration. In reaching this position the Environment Agency (EA) has followed the NASCO guidelines and applied the Precautionary Approach to the conservation and management of salmon populations, giving priority to conserving and protecting salmon stocks.
The EA understands that these new management measures could impose a financial burden on licensed drift netsmen. It has not taken the decision to propose measures lightly, but salmon are in decline across the country. On the grounds of ensuring stocks exist at a sustainable level now and in the future, these are the measures that are being proposed.
The EA intends to formally advertise its proposals later this month and all stakeholders will have the opportunity to respond to the proposed byelaws and to request changes or modifications.