18. CONVENTION ON FUTURE MULTILATERAL
CO-OPERATION IN THE NORTH-EAST ATLANTIC FISHERIES (10075/98) AND
CLOSER DIALOGUE WITH THE FISHING INDUSTRY AND GROUPS AFFECTED
BY THE COMMON FISHERIES POLICY (10439/99)
Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of
the Committee, to Elliot Morley MP, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
The Sub-Committee considered both of these proposals
at its meeting on 13 October and agreed to clear them. The Sub-Committee
was generally supportive of the Government's stance in each case.
The Sub-Committee has asked me to write to you
to request that they be kept informed of the outcome of negotiations
on both proposals. In addition, the Sub-Committee would be interested
to be told how much extra cost would be incurred by the United
Kingdom under the proposals outlined in 10074/99, when compared
with proposals under which the Commission were to provide the
control vessels, as happens in the North-West Atlantic Fisheries
19 October 1999
Letter from Elliot Morley MP, Minister
for Fisheries and the Countryside, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries
and Food, to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee
Thank you for your letter of 19 October.
It is very helpful to know that your Committee
supports the Government's stance on each of the above proposals.
As requested, we will keep you informed of developments on both
You asked about the extra cost which would be
incurred by the UK were we to have to provide control vessels
in the NEAFC area, as required under 10074/99, compared with the
Commission providing them as under the NAFO model.
Our existing offshore inspection and surveillance
resources comprise Royal Navy fishery protection vessels, and
maritime surveillance aircraft operated on behalf of the Ministry
under contract with the private sector. These resources are deployed
within British Fishery Limits adjacent to England and Wales, although
occasional patrols may also be undertaken in international waters
to monitor the activities of UK vessels. The Scottish Fisheries
Protection Agency deploys similar resources in the Scottish zone.
The annual operational cost to the Ministry
of mounting patrols in British Fishery Limits under current arrangements
is some £5.8 million (approximately £6,000 per patrol
day) for fishery protection vessels and £2.4 million (approximately
£1,500 per flying hour) for surveillance aircraft. Similar
operating costs fall to the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency
for patrolling the Scottish zone.
The cost to the UK of contributing to an enforcement
presence in NEAFC waters would depend on the number of patrol
days and flying hours required, and the availability of suitable
fishery protection vessels and surveillance aircraft. While an
initial ad hoc inspection presence may be possible using
existing resources, this would be at the expense of patrols in
British Fishery Limits. It also needs to be borne in mind that
the scope and extent of enforcement activities in NEAFC waters
is likely to increase over time as NEAFC progressively augments
the number of stocks under management in its regulatory area.
At this point in time, it is difficult to quantify what the additional
resources required by the UK and other Member States would be
in order to provide a sustained inspection presence in NEAFC waters
but they are likely to be substantial.
For its part, the Commission has indicated that,
were it to provide the inspection services in NEAFC waters, as
it does in NAFO, this would involve additional fisheries enforcement
expenditure of around 3.5 million euros (approximately £2,237,500)
a year. It is not clear to us at this stage whether this extra
spending could be financed from within existing budgetary resources
available to the Commission or whether additional provision would
I hope this information is helpful.
18 November 1999