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Lord Donoughue: The proposal of the European Commission to introduce a total allowable catch (TAC) for sand eels in the North Sea took account of advice provided by the Advisory Committee on Fisheries Management (ACFM) of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. ACFM concluded that the sand eel stock appears to be within safe biological limits and that the stock can sustain current fishing mortality. However, it advised that fishing mortality should not be allowed to increase because the consequences of removing a large fraction of the food biomass for predator species are unknown.
The United Kingdom welcomed the introduction of a TAC for North Sea sand eels at the Fisheries Council on 18-19 December 1997. However, the United Kingdom also pressed for the TAC to be set at a lower level and called for continuing analysis of the environmental effect of large scale industrial fishing.
This follows his announcement on 13 November that the Government intend to introduce legislation seeking to restrict the frequency of on-line lottery draws under the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976.
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