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Shellfish Conservation

Baroness Hilton of Eggardon asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Donoughue: The responses to our consultation last summer on improved conservation measures for shellfish proposed by the Fisheries Conservation Group were generally very positive.

In the light of this clear endorsement, the Government have decided that legislation should be laid to increase from 1 January 2000 the minimum landing sizes of lobster, edible crab, and male spider crab landed into the UK from British registered fishing vessels.

22 Mar 1999 : Column WA138

From the same day the landing of any lobster or crawfish which has been V-notched would also be prohibited. In Northern Ireland, the current Great Britain landing size of 65mm carapace width for velvet crab will be introduced there at the same time.

The landing size for whelks will be 45mm. This recognises concerns expressed in the consultation exercise that in some parts of the country 45mm was the largest size of whelk found and a larger size was impracticable.

These moves are aimed at conserving shellfish stocks and clearly illustrate our commitment to work with the industry.

Full details are below:

Minimum landing sizes from 1 January 2000Minimum EU requirement UK size
(87mm from 1/1/2002)
Edible crabs:
North Sea south of 56°N
(except the "Cromer" fishery)
to the Essex/Kent border
The "Cromer" fishery
(the coasts of Lincolnshire,
Norfolk and Suffolk)
Scottish west coast and North Sea north of 56°N (including the whole of the Firth of Forth)140mm140mm
North of 55°N on the west coast of Scotland (but including Loch Ryan)130mm140mm
South of 56°N on the west coast except ICES areas VIId, e and f130mm130mm
Off Devon, Cornwall and the Scilly Isles within ICES VIIe and f140mmmales--160mm females--140mm
The Bristol Channel and the remainder of the English Channel140mm140mm
Velvet crabsnone set65mm
Spider crabs 120mmmales--130mm females--120mm

Agriculture in the United Kingdom

Lord Clarke of Hampstead asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect the latest volume of Agriculture in the United Kingdom to be published.[HL1560]

Lord Donoughue: Agriculture in the United Kingdom 1998 was published on 16 March 1999 and copies were placed in the Library of the House.

22 Mar 1999 : Column WA139

Pesticide Residues in Baby Foods

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action is being taken to control pesticide residues in baby foods.[HL1561]

22 Mar 1999 : Column WA140

Lord Donoughue: Agreement was reached last week on two new EC directives which impose stringent limits on the levels of pesticides in infant formulae and baby foods. These measures will enhance existing controls and provide even greater protection for the health of this vulnerable group of the population.

22 Mar 1999 : Column WA139

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