Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what species the Government classifies as forage fish; and if he will take steps to introduce an ecologically protective programme for the management of those species in UK waters.
Forage fish are important to the ecosystem as they provide food for predator fish and sea birds. We are reviewing our policy on forage fish that are caught for industrial purposes. In the context of the Northeast Atlantic, there are specific fleet segments that specialise in this type of fishing, and their effort within UK waters is targeted on particular species, principally sandeel and Norway pout.