Oral Answers to Questions | Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Fisheries
Andrew George (St Ives, Liberal Democrat)
I would be grateful if the Minister were prepared to meet a delegation of fishermen from my constituency who are concerned about the Government’s proposals for the inshore fishery, as the consultation on those closes today. They are particularly concerned about what I suspect will be the unintended consequences that will be detrimental to this low-impact and sustainable sector.
Richard Benyon (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Natural Environment and Fisheries), Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Newbury, Conservative)
I would be delighted to meet representatives of the hon. Gentleman’s local fishing community. The consultation on the under-10-metre sector, which, as he says, closes today, sought to find a solution to the level of perceived unfairness—I acknowledge it—that applies to this sector. I want to find a way forward that gives this sector more fishing opportunities and allows the local communities to invest in their local fleets, because we understand the social implications of the decline of the fishing industry in many places. I am not in the business of making life more difficult for any particular sector, and I want to ensure that this consultation feeds on the many enthusiasms we have encountered, while also setting to rest many of the fears expressed.